Enrichment in Middle School

I love my daughter’s middle school. I loved when her brother and sister attended the first year it opened a little over ten years ago. Since then, they have added a program called PRIDE.  A few minutes was taken out of each period so on Tuesdays through Fridays, the students can have the opportunity to spend 30 minutes per day taking a variety of creative classes. Some of the classes have been, Calligraphy, Sewing, Floral Water Color Art, Digital Photography, Archery, Mechanics, etc.  The hope is that students will be exposed to different activites, perhaps finding a passon for something new, maybe learn new skills, or just get to spend time at school doing something they love.

For students who were having trouble in their core classes, they can use this time  for tutoring or extra homework time.

On the school’s website, it explains the importance of having the PRIDE period:

Students who are connected to school, through activities and positive relationships with adults on campus, do better in school than those who are not. Also, students who are connected to school in this way develop more “protective factors”, which help them become more resilient in the face of adversity, and they more likely to avoid risky behaviors.

My daughter has enjoyed her classes. So far she has taken Digital Photography, Sewing, and currently she is using her PRIDE period to practice her clarinet. She is looking forward to perhaps taking Calligraphy, or Google+. She doesn’t know which class she will get until she returns from Spring Break in April.

I asked her if she was looking forward to taking archery next year because that class is only offered to 7th and 8th graders.  She told me they are discontinuing PRIDE next year. She explained that while most of the teachers at her school were in support of it, a “few” complained to the School District that the time used for the PRIDE period was cutting into their classroom teaching time. My daughter used the phrase, “Prep time,” but I’m not sure if that would be accurate. I’m not even entirely sure if it is accurate to say that PRIDE won’t be coming back next year.  I had already planned on writing about the school’s PRIDE program before I found out it was on the chopping block.  When I mentioned this topic to my husband, he revealed he had overheard one of the teachers saying something about how our daughter’s school was the last school in the district to still have the PRIDE program, and the district doesn’t like the PRIDE Program.  I guess they found out kids were having school-sponsered fun, and like Miss Hannigan from Annie, the felt compelled to put an end to it.

I emailed her principal to verify and to see if there was anthing that could be done to change the District’s mind, but I don’t expect to hear from him until after this is due to post.  Here’s hoping I won’t have to send her to school with a bucket and rags, singing, “It’s a Hard Knock Life.” Maybe the sun really will come out tomorrow. Sorry. No, not really. Making pop culture references is in my DNA.

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