As the Program Director for the Star-C Programs at Summerdale/Springview my main focus in this season is making sure that our students are well equipped to face the academic challenges that are placed in front them. I am there to help build confidence in their ability to achieve success even with the most difficult tasks. I am there to be a sounding board and for many the big sister or auntie that they don’t have, but wish that they did, and I take my role very seriously! I also recognize that while I am equipping them for academic success and giving them to the necessary tools to mature emotionally and even spiritually, it is just as imperative for me to make sure that while all of this is happening, they are having a good time! As a former preschool teacher, I believe deeply that learning can and should be fun! I am convinced that if we paid equal attention to fun as we did to academics, we would have better outcomes and that’s why I am committed to making learning fun while taking their education seriously!
And that’s how we got to our first field trip! PBL Night at Cleveland Avenue Elementary School! Mind you, we know that we didn’t go very far in distance, but what we gained from the experience was out of this world. PBL Night was an amazing time of learning and fun where my ASP kids got to experience their classmates share about the problems they solved and the projects they created, as well as share what they themselves had learned in the process. They were able to excitedly ask questions of their peers and cheer them on as they reviewed what had been taking place in their classrooms. Having students excitedly pull me over to share with me their work that had been displayed as they beamed with pride reminded me of why these types of “field trips” were critical to their overall confidence and success. They were in a place where they felt comfortable which made them open to exploring! They saw familiar faces which made them willing to ask questions. They were able to share their accomplishments which shot their self-esteem through the roof! And we did it without spending any money! Amen to that! It also showed the school that we were just as committed to their success and the success of their programming as they are to us!
Also, doing the field trip in this way allowed many of my kids to experience something that they would not have otherwise been able to. Many of their parents were still at work and would have been unable to take them to enjoy the evenings activities but using it as an after-school field trip allowed all of them to participate and be a part of what their school community was doing! It was truly a great time had by all and we cannot wait to do it again!