This summer kicked off a school year of learning and growing.
As the school year begins here at Girard College, the many programs and activities that kept our campus bustling through the summer months have come to an end. The launch of the DREEAMS @ Girard was among the most successful and productive summer initiatives.
The program was designed to improve the academic and interpersonal skills of a group of then-rising sixth graders by exposing them to a balanced yet wide-ranging curriculum. While a focus on academics guided the program, new constructive practices, such as boat building, gardening, robotics and civics, made students’ schedules even more diverse and enriching.
“We had a resounding amount of positive feedback from all parties involved in the program - teachers, interns, students and parents,” said Brandon Herbert, the program director and Assistant Director of Admissions at Girard College.
A large part of this success undoubtedly came from the unprecedented partnership formed by Girard College and The Philadelphia School for the program. Not only did students have a chance to make some new friends, but staff also benefited, gaining the valuable opportunity to collaborate with peers and enhance teaching practices.
Parents applauded the DREEAMS program for its effective focus on academics, pleased to hear their children discuss what they learned in class at home. While boatbuilding seemed to be the favorite activity among students, whether they were writing or woodworking each child exhibited undeniable growth. The DREEAMS staff worked hard to encourage leadership, teamwork, resourcefulness and responsible decision making.
Stephen Girard himself would be satisfied to see the program’s focus on instilling a deep understanding of what it means to be a productive citizen in one’s community. Thanks to civics class, this bright group of sixth graders is more prepared than ever to make positive contributions to the political, social and economic structures of not only their communities, but beyond.
According to a final report conducted and written by Dr. Earl Ball and Dr. Stephanie Dennis, (both qualified individuals in the realm of education), “the data obtained from [our] investigation was overwhelmingly positive. Staff enthusiasm and dedication were key elements to the success of the initial session. All students should take pride in completing a very positive first year of the program.” The success of the program’s launch has not only prepared students for a fruitful school year, but also unquestionably sparked excitement within everyone involved as they continue taking part in the program through the school year and into next summer.
- middle grades
- The Philadelphia School