INSPIRING US THIS WEEK: TURN IT AROUND CLUB

This week we were sent an amazing story about a new club at Central Junior High called the Turn It Around Club. The difference this club made in these chilren’s lives is so inspiring to see  especially when it is right here in our area. We couldn’t be more proud of the work that is being done in our community!

 

“The Turn It Around Club was created to help the most at risk students at Central Junior High School. After meeting with the principals and counselors we picked eight students and created three principles to focus on. We picked these students because they have unlimited but untried potential, they have been misunderstood and they needed the opportunity to feel the reward of giving back. Every goal that was set, activity that was planned, lesson that was taught or trip that was taken reverted back to those three factors.

My students set personal goals and group goals to help reach their full potential. Educational potential was one of our strongest concentrations as individuals and as a group. Each week students would print their grades and highlight any failing grades or missing assignments. Simply creating awareness of their academic strengths and weaknesses helped tremendously. After school the group would study for upcoming tests and work on projects and papers together. Through open communication, positive reinforcement and working side by side with my students I not only helped them improve their grades but I also identified a struggling student had a debilitating learning disability. From this identification and testing, next year that student will get all of the modifications and accommodations needed to help him continue on his path to success. Every student in the Turn It Around Club passed ninth grade and advanced to either Har-Ber High School or Sprindale High School.

DrSuess3

One of the biggest struggles that my group faced was being misunderstood or wrongfully judged based on past mistakes. To overcome this huge hurdle I focused on creating meaningful, positive relationships to help break down barriers. I enlisted help from our school resource officer which gave our group a different, positive perspective on authority. Officer Greg Harrison and I pushed the boys and truly believed in them, we wanted everybody else to see what we saw in them. When my group was invited to speak at the yearly school board luncheon this was the perfect opportunity to showcase all of their hard work. The students in the Turn It Around club learned manners, respect and how to create and maintain positive relationships with adults and their peers. They attended school football and basketball games, they went to the semi-formal dance, they created a team for the annual dodgeball tournament and actively participated in other school functions such as serving on the student advisory committee.
Our final focus was giving back to their school and the community they grew up in. During Christmas time we visited the Springdale Health and Rehabilitation Center to visit residents and spread holiday cheer. For Valentine’s day the group made over two hundred cards and chocolate covered pretzels which we delivered to The House of Hope in Springdale, a rescue mission designed to meet the needs of the hungry, needy and homeless in our community. During our time at The House of Hope we visited with patrons, organized donated clothing, sorted and packaged diapers and deep cleaned inside and outside the facility. In the spring we adopted a part of the Central Junior High School lawn. Planting flowers, pulling weeds and daily maintenance created a sense of pride in their work and their school. In the final month of school one of the group members was awarded student of the month for overall integrity and most improved.
This year I saw an immeasurable amount of success and I felt an immense amount of courage and love because of the Turn It Around Club. Even on our hardest days I never doubted that this is where I belong, I could not be more thankful for this opportunity to be an advocate.
Alexandria Fedorchak
Central Junior High School
‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.’
Dr. Suess”

Share this post