The Oregon College Access Challenge Grant provides schools, districts, colleges, universities, and community-based non-profit organizations opportunities to serve youth in their college-going dreams. Today's blog post features a currently-funded school district.
For 6 weeks this summer, La Pine High School offered a college prep and transition camp for incoming 8th graders. Here's what some of their staff had to say about the experience:
Cindy Oleachea-Program Director
As the program director, I set up the summer program from day one. We started with recruitment of students and then everything else just seemed to fall into place. We partnered with local businesses and programs to teach our students projects throughout the summer. We provided breakfast and lunch through our summer lunch and learn program, and transportation was provided through the school district. The program itself went great; we had an approximately 35-40 kids everyday and they came excited and ready to learn. Overall this was a great experience for me. I enjoyed getting to know the incoming freshman, and it was nice to see those familiar faces on the first day of school.
Kendra Munro-Language Arts Teacher
As the language arts teacher in the program, I was able to teach some valuable skills that will help students succeed or excel in 9th grade English. They learned some basic processes such as writing thesis statements, "hooks", and peer editing. We dedicated a lot of our time to talking about their futures and their plans for success. I think the program as a whole served incoming freshmen in many ways. The most obvious was that they became familiar with the school, some peers, and a few teachers. Just knowing where certain areas are located in the school can greatly aid in building self-esteem and confidence. They also were encouraged to think about the importance of their high school experience in meeting their long-term career and life goals. We also focused on teaching about the increase in responsibilities and the higher expectations for behavior in high school. Overall, I felt the program was a great success and I feel so fortunate to have gotten to work with such a great group of students.
Vondell Fox-Math Teacher
This summer students at LPHS had a unique experience that included mathematics, science, and language arts. Students participated in hands on learning experiences building tooth pick bridges during our engineering week and then proceeded to break the bridges to discover which designs could hold the most weight. Students during another week discovered the fascinating world of culinary through creating their own meals and visiting Central Oregon Community College's culinary institute where students experienced the many aspects associated with cooking. They enjoyed sweet and tasty frozen treats and discovered the artistry of being a pastry chef. On our final excursion students were able to work as a team and discover the science of white water rafting. How the motion of the water can determine treacherous routes is safe but exciting fun. Learning at its best elicits enjoyment from instructor and student.