Written by: Patricia Hernandez
Created: 15 November 2012

Patricia Hernandez, Communities In Schools of North Texas Site Coordinator at Hedrick Elementary in Lewisville ISD, writes about the educational enrichment activities that the students in her 21st Century after school program are participating in.

drama clubThis is the second year that Mr. L from Ludlam Dramatics has been working with the 21st Century students at Hedrick Elementary. Last year, Mr. L focused on team building for students and staff. This year, Mr. L is focusing on incorporating an actual Drama Club into the 21st Century program. Through his first session with 5th graders, Mr. L and Coach Amy had students focus on making a "Do's and Don'ts" procedures video. The students in 5th grade learned about camera angles, narration, and video recording. The 5th graders had their video featured during the 21st Century Parent Orientation.

During the month of October, 21st Century at Hedrick Elementary focused on Fitness, which incorporated every-day activities, as well as increase student knowledge of things they may not be familiar with. During their enrichment time, students learned about Soccer, Nutrition, Relay Races, Basketball, Soccer and Stretching. Mr. L and his wife Mrs. Jenn helped our students increase their knowledge by offering our students a "Fitness if Fun" activity. Mrs. Jenn led the entire 21st Century group in a kid-friendly version of Zumba.

As if that wasn't enough, Mr. L's next project with the students is creating the basis for our Holiday Parent Event in December. In this current session, Mr. L is working with 3rd and 4th graders to create their own version of a holiday movie. So far, students have learned about preparation and planning and the sequential and necessary process a movie should follow. The movie will be featured during a Holiday Movie Night for parents. Stay tuned for what's coming soon!

Written by: Hope Nicole Williams
Created: 06 November 2012

Hope Williams, CISNT Program Manager at Pike Middle School in Northwest ISD, brags on her student of the month.

RoyRoy is a 7th grader at Pike Middle school in the Northwest Independent School District. Roy has younger siblings at home that he helps his parents with. I have never witnessed Roy in a negative mood and although shy, he still tries to make everyone feel welcomed. Roy maintains awesome grades and is involved in many different organizations at school.

Roy is in student council and really wanted to run for Vice President. Because Roy is so shy he really didn't think that he would win. He told me that he did not have many friends, and he did not think that he would get a lot of votes. I told Roy that he never knew and if he really wanted it and worked hard for it, he just may be surprised. Roy took my advice and worked really hard to campaign for himself.

After two exhausting weeks of campaigning Roy was filled with joy when he found out that he had won the election for Vice President. I am so proud of him. Thus far, he has held true to the promises that he made to his peers. Roy is CIS student of the month.

Written by: Nkechi Chibueze
Created: 05 November 2012

Nkechi Chibueze, CISNT Site Coordinator at Ginnings Elementary in Denton ISD, writes about the breakthrough her fifth grade students have made in math.

MathThis month, I have to highlight the wonderful work of Mr. Bryce and his fifth grade class! Mr. Bryce is an Academic Enrichment Specialist in the CIS 21st Century After School Program at Ginnings Elementary. For the past month, as requested by the fifth grade teachers, Mr. Bryce has been reviewing math lessons that the students need a little help with. The students have HATED it. When Mr. Bryce announces it is math time, the kids begin to whine and groan:

"Mr. Bryce, no maaaaath!"

"Mr. Bryce it's not fair!"

"Mr. Bryce, the fourth graders don't have to do it, so why should we?"

Though the sophomoric complaints were constant, Mr. Bryce would patiently work through the math problems with the students on a daily basis. One day, the students had been doing an exceptional job on division problems, so Mr. Bryce decided to take it a little further and showed them a basic equation problem. The students solved the problem instantly.

After the problem was solved, Mr. Bryce said, "Congratulations kids, you just learned a little Algebra!". The Students went wild. They then turned to me and shouted, "Ms. Kechi, Ms. Kechi! We know Algebra!" To extend the excitement, I decided to say, ‘Wow! You guys are smart! I didn't learn Algebra until the 9th grade!"

That was a BIG mistake.

For the next week, the kids were telling EVERYBODY, "Guess what? We learned about algebra FOUR years before Ms. Kechi did!"

I would tell them to stop but...technically, they are telling the truth!

Written by: Stephanie Valle, MSW
Created: 01 November 2012

Stephanie Valle, CISNT Program Manager at Lewisville High School Killough in Lewisville ISD, writes about a successful long term mentoring relationship.

lisa and mariaLisa Cox has been a mentor to Maria, a student at Lewisville High School Killough, since she was in elementary school. Over the years, Lisa has followed Maria to her schools so they can continue their relationship. When Maria started her first year in high school, it only seemed natural for Lisa to follow her to LHS Killough.

Their relationship truly is special! Since they have met for over five years, Lisa has had the privilege of watching Maria grow into a teenager. In fact, over the summer, Lisa was invited to celebrate Maria's quinceañera, her 15th birthday. Maria wanted to share this important day with her mentor.

When the two meet, they mainly like to talk and catch up about what is going on with school and at home. Lisa motivates and encourages Maria in all she does. At the moment, they are exploring careers, and they will be learning more about architecture--Maria's current interest. Since Lisa is a realtor, she will be showing Maria blueprints of homes and asking her to draw her "Dream Home." Lisa is always finding new and exciting ways to encourage Maria in her interests.

Although I have only just begun to see their relationship, I already see it is something special. I admire the time and effort Lisa puts into maintaining the wonderful relationship her and Maria have built. Their relationship is only going to continue to get stronger and I am excited to see Maria grow with Lisa.

Written by: Jennifer Hughes
Created: 19 October 2012

Jennifer Hughes, CISNT Program Manager at DeLay Middle School in Lewisville ISD, writes about the close relationship that one of her mentors has built with his student over the past three years.

Brad and RamBrad Curtis has been a CIS mentor with his student, Ram, for 3 years. They first met in 6th grade at DeLay Middle School when Ram had only been in the United States for under a year.

Due to the great needs of the Chin students, who are refugees from Burma, Brad has been a very involved mentor from the start. He spent his time learning about and learning from his student. On one of their first meetings, Ram drew out on a white board his family's journey to the United States. This included a weeks-long walk in the jungle to reach the refugee camp.

Brad and Ram worked many weeks on helping Ram to understand his Science and Math work. They also discuss Ram's interests, such as football, soccer and things that are very typical of a teenager.

Ram's family is also served by Rochelle, a mentor through the Chin Refugee Ministry. Rochelle and Brad have been able to communicate with each other to best meet Ram's needs.

Last week, when Brad and Ram were meeting, Ram told Brad that his family is very happy because they have great mentors. We are very fortunate to have volunteer mentors like Brad, who take the time to help a student transition to a successful academic life in the U.S.

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