On the final days of the school year, REC students and staff participated in project adventure activities led by Athena High School teacher Miss Stevens. The students worked together in many low and high ropes courses. They continued to develop communication and leadership skills as they challenged themselves in some tough elements. This culminating activity proved to strengthen the student relationships developed throughout the year and end the year with a fun and memorable experience.
On Thursday, April 18th the Greece Re-Engagement Center had its SNAP showcase event – a project that the students and staff at the school have been working on all year. The SNAP foundation is a program that gives children a chance to showcase their values in life while learning about and demonstrating anti-bullying campaigns. Edward Gartz, the founder of the SNAP foundation, has worked with the students at the REC all year on taking pictures of their lives and understanding the negative effects of bullying in schools, and in life in general. The students displayed their pictures from the school year in the gymnasium at the REC, and in turn for their hard work, received an award for completing the SNAP project. Guests at the showcase event included Greece Superintendant Barbara Deane-Williams, Deputy Superintendant Shaun Nelms, Senator Joe Robach, and Greece Town Board Vice President Dave Ferrington. Josh Slesak, a student at the REC, spoke about what he has learned from the SNAP project and from the various service learning events completed at the REC. We are very proud of the accomplishments our students have made and it was fun to showcase the great things these students have done for the community.
Click here for an article from the Greece Post about this great event!
Click here for an article from the Greece Central TeamWork newsletter!
The students and staff of the Greece Re-Engagement Center have taken many trips to Latta Road Nursing Home throughout the school year. In the last couple months, the students have really become involved in working with the senior citizens who live at the nursing home. In January, the students brought Apple iPads to the nursing home and worked with the residents, playing games and learning about ‘apps’ on the iPads. The students and the residents learned about Skype, a video conference calling app, and called each other from different rooms within the nursing home. The students and the residents had a blast playing around with the iPads. Just before Easter, on March 28th, the students went to the nursing home again to color Easter eggs with the residents. The students and residents worked together to color over 100 Easter eggs. The students took a few home for themselves to show their families. The residents always seem to enjoy the company of the REC students.
As part of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), the Greece Re-Engagement Center provides the students with an opportunity to participate in “connect time” at the end of the day. Connect time is a twenty minute period at the end of the day in which students get to go to the gym, play games, or interact with adults. The students carry around a “points sheet” throughout the day where they can earn up to three points in each class- the three points they can receive are for ‘respect, responsibility, and readiness to learn’. If the students receive 80% of the possible points for the day they can go to the gym at the end of the day, it is a great chance for students to have extra time to do the things they enjoy.
“Who are you? And what do you want to be?” These are the questions that were asked of our students here at the Greece Re-Engagement Center on Thursday, April 11th by Chuck Mitrano, our guest speaker. Chuck Mitrano, the commissioner for the Empire 8 Athletic Conference, came to the Greece Re-Engagement Center to deliver an inspiring message in an assembly for the students. Chuck speaks to student athletes all around New York State about building a positive legacy by leading a life of integrity, responsibility, and accountability. Chuck challenged students to reflect on their values in their everyday lives. Commissioner Mitrano stated that, “if what you do on a daily basis is guided by values, then you will leave a positive legacy.” Although Chuck’s message might seem to resonate best with the student athletes, his message could easily relate to any student in any school.
So, what message did the students take away? Maya Martin explained that “there is going to be obstacles in the future, and we need to learn how to get through those obstacles to get to where we ultimately need to be.” It was a true pleasure for the students and staff at the Re-Engagement Center to have Commissioner Chuck Mitrano share with us such a special and spot-on message.
On Thursday, March 28th, 2013 five students from the Greece Re-Engagement Center completed the final phase of a service learning project that integrated math concepts into it. For this project, students were required to research various charities of their interest to which they could collect donations. The five students were split into two groups and given ten dollars to design/create their fundraising event. One group chose to collect donations for the American Heart Association, the other group collected donations for the Jimmy V Foundation. These students spent a portion of class each day for about four days researching their chosen foundation, contacting the foundation to notify them of the incoming donations, and designing a poster to advertise their charity. The groups set up at The Mall at Greece Ridge for one hour from noon-1 PM.
The group raising for the American Heart Association followed in the footsteps of “Jump for Hoops,” as the students had the public shoot baskets for a chance to win a gift card to Tom Wahl’s Restaurant in exchange for their donation to the charity. The group raising money for the Jimmy V Foundation chose to donate a portion of their ten dollars given to them at the beginning for every donation they received from the public. As a whole the students were able to raise about 70 dollars, each group raising around 35 dollars for their respective charity. The project was a tremendous success; students were able to incorporate mathematic principles while raising money for a good cause and interacting with the community in a positive way.
On Friday, December 21st, the students at the Re-Engagement Center had a day full of fun, learning, and community building. Before the students were dismissed for their winter break, they were engaged in many activities. During the morning, the students had their ELA, SS, Math, and Science classes as usual. Some students (and staff) participated in wearing pajamas. For lunch, students and staff enjoyed pizza, Chinese food, cookies, and treats (many of which were brought in by parents). Thank you parents! Each student also received a decorated bag of “goodies” from my 4 year old twin boys. My kids were very excited to meet all of our great students!
After lunch, the students challenged the staff of the REC to a game of basketball. Although our core staff is small, college students and many employees from the district that work with our students came to participate. Some played in the game, while others took pictures, kept time, or cheered on all of the players. Students defeated the staff with a score of 36-24. There wasn’t a student or staff member that didn’t leave the REC on Friday with a smile on his or her face. I am so proud to be a part of this amazing Re-Engagement Center Program! See you all in 2013.