Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I will eventually kick the habit of trying to change the world

but until then, I will take an eensy bit of pride in stuff like this:
Luke Blank joined the Chippewa Falls School District’s after-school program two years ago to improve his reading, math and social skills.
Now instead of struggling in school, he excels. Last semester his lowest grade was a B- at Jim Falls Elementary School.
“He was recommended to the program when he was in second grade,” said Luke’s mother, Lisa Blank. “He went through it that year, and it made a huge difference.”
But program director Ruth Adix is concerned federal funding is ending for the district’s Voyager Community Learning Center after-school program.
“I think parents would really miss the support if it were not offered,” Adix said. “I think just in general for students that aren’t involved in music or sports … a program like this has really given them ways to explore their interests.”
The program, which focuses on education at the elementary level and new skills at the middle school level, was started with the help of a $300,000 U.S. Department of Education grant.
The district has received the grant money the past eight years. But with more schools applying and less money to go around, the program may receive no grant money next school year.
After getting involved in the program with her son, Lisa Blank doesn’t want to see it terminated.
She was so impressed with the elementary portion of the after-school program that she began volunteering.
“I actually volunteer, so I see both sides of it,” she said. “I help the other students, and I’m not ‘Mom,’ so it works.”
Elementary children must be recommended to get in the program. Lisa Blank said her son is the firstborn, and she didn’t know how to prepare him for school.

“He just needed overall help, and that’s what it usually is,” she said. “It would be absolutely devastating (if it were not offered). A lot of kids would be hurt.”

About 700 students reap the benefits in the elementary and middle school programs, Adix said.

At the elementary level, Luke Blank is able to expend energy after school by taking a recess break and having a snack, but then it’s right down to homework business.

“First we do playtime, like go outside or play games and stuff,” Blank said. “We say one good thing about your day and one bad thing … then we do homework.”

Yeah. That's my job. Like, it's MY job. Luke is one of my tutoring kids. And that last quote there pretty much sums it up. I can only guess that the ellipsis represents any number of mundane details that kids really like to list specifically ("then we wash our hands. then we say who wants white milk and who wants chocoloate milk. then the leader gets the milk. then we have a snack. then we throw our garbage away. then we get our books out of our backpacks. then we go to the library. then we pick our tables"...etc. etc. etc.) But yeah, that's basically what I do at THAT job.


Blogger Phillip said...

well at least you're being part of the solution :)

January 04, 2006 8:58 AM  
Blogger jenny said...

no, please don't kick it. i think you're doing great.

January 04, 2006 2:53 PM  
Blogger barn said...

FJ, trying to change the world is like crack to you. Sure, you can quit anytime you want to, but you'll never want to.

January 04, 2006 6:03 PM  
Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

Unless it gets too expensive. In which case you'll be stealing VCRs and selling them for $1.50 for another dose of world-saving.

January 04, 2006 10:42 PM  
Blogger wobbleboard said...

Good on you, Flamingo. You help kids in an afterschool programs; I edit stories about kids in said after-school program. :)

January 05, 2006 4:07 PM  
Blogger wobbleboard said...

And I do such a good job editing that I cannot properly render "after-school" in a blog comment. Sheesh.

January 05, 2006 4:08 PM  

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