“What have you done with my son?!” queried Mrs. Miller in an ambiguous tone.
That’s a provocative question anytime, especially when it’s a new parent on the fourth day of school.
“What do you mean?” Head of School Catherine Dolan responded, adding a cock of the head and a concerned look in case the response went south.
“In just three days this school has changed my son. For years I had to fight to get Jamar to school in the morning. He’d just lie in bed, drag his feet, and do everything he could to be late or miss school. Don’t even talk about homework.”
Good news. What did Mrs. Miller see now?
“Now he lays his clothes out the night before, packs his own lunch, and HE wakes up the rest of the family so that he will be at school on time.”
She repeated emphatically, “In three days you’ve changed my son!”
I don’t know many kids excited about middle school, so I can certainly understand Mrs. Miller’s enthusiasm. After all, one of the biggest reasons families seek out our school is because their children are on the brink of giving up on education altogether.
So, what’s behind Jamar’s enthusiasm? Let’s take a look…and see how you can help.
Survivor: Bethany Beach
Let me introduce you to Power Wednesday, UrbanPromise’s dynamic, hands on approach to motivate middle schoolers.
You know those tough guys on TV who get dropped off in the wilderness to test their survival skills? Well they’ve got nothing on our own Harvey Zendt and our middle school team (Mr. D and Mrs. Emmi).
Our Power Wednesday kick off was a three day field trip to Bethany Beach to build community while studying wetland, bay, and beach ecosystems. During the day, students were in marshes, on beaches, and in the dunes, studying wildlife, tides, migration, water quality and the like in a knee deep plunge into hands on learning. Students studied pirates in Delaware estuaries and cartography by practicing their own treasure mapping in the field. (All treasures were found!)
Studying mollusks, they went into the tidal flats, harvested mussels, boiled and ate them. Nothing drives a lesson home like a mouthful of mollusk. Thursday they seined the bay for aquatic animals. “Who likes sushi?” Mr. ‘Survivor Man’ Zendt inquired. No hands went up. Reaching into the net Mr. Zendt popped a fresh, wriggling silverside into his mouth for an appetizer. Suddenly a wave of hands went up – sushi was on the menu!
Teaching math, economics and leadership, student teams had $25 each to plan one of six meals, purchase items, do preparation, and clean up. Triumphed 7th grader Pete of team ‘Friday Breakfast’, “I cooked 60 pieces of French toast!” Can Iron Chef be far behind?
On the way home 7th grader Jacqui shared how much she was loving school. “Why?” I asked. “It’s the teachers. They care, they make learning fun.”
Raquan’s mom told us “My son actually talks to me about what he is learning, what’s next, what he loves about school. He’s never been like that before.”
It’s one thing to strive to be a school that changes lives, but it’s real when MOMS tell you it’s LIFE changing, when they see it in their own kids and you hear it in their own voice.
Help every mom find the child they knew was there. Fuel these kids thirst for learning with $64 for a tank of gas or $150 to feed our kids on their next overnight adventure.
With a gift $2500 you could fund the whole Power Wednesday program this year. It’s not often you can know so directly that a gift is life changing.
Help these “teachers who care” to “change my son” for all these kids. We need $1200 to support Jamar’s scholarship. Can’t do it all? Give him a portion.
Then come on out to our banquet and meet them! Click here for information and registration.