Nov 24, 2010

Go at Deerfield Run Elementary

Former UM student Seth Tucker writes about his activities at Deerfield Run ES:
Thank you so much for all of your assistance last year. It was such a success that we went from having 15 students come regularly last year to over 60 sign up this year (23 turned in their permission slips the next school day after getting it before lunch). Unfortunately, we only have enough equipment for 32 students to play at the same time. We have only made room for 36 students and 4 student tutors who had taken part in last years program. While we are in the process of trying to find other staff members so we can expand, I have students come up to me everyday asking if there is room yet. Some have even tried sneaking into the club after school. I know that if we could expand the club then more students would sign up. On the first day that the students could turn in their permission slips we had to announce a waiting list.

We have had 2 sessions so far both going beyond my expectations. The kids are all excited and having so much fun. I can't wait until Tuesday so we can continue that fun.

I know that the program has had a great benefit on our students socially (one of my students diagnosed with autism actively went up to other students to ask if they would like to play, which was a major step for him). I also saw improved work habits from my students who took part in the club. One student who went from turning in almost no work to getting a C in math (another big step for said student). And all of the 6th graders who graduated did so with some award for either good conduct or honor roll. While all of that is great, I would like to have some hard data to show. It is my plan for the next week or so to check to see if there was any major improvement for our students state testing scores.

I also have been playing with the idea of expanding the club out to other schools in the area. Obviously this has become extremely popular here, I will have to attempt to contact other schools in the area to gauge their feelings on it. Hopefully having some hard data in hand will help with that. I am also looking to find ways to bring in members of the community to help, though we are running up against the difficulty of getting people fingerprinted so they can work with our students.

As for now though we need more equipment. What we have from last year held up from hard use, but I would like to not have to have students play on the cheap cardboard boards (that is unless we have so many kids that that is our only choice). ... We had a lot of success last year, we continue to grow, and we continue to learn how to make this program better. We appreciate any assistance you can provide in growing our club and in enriching our students lives and education.

Seth Tucker
5th Grade MEANS Teacher
Deerfield Run ES
Deerfield Run ES is only 15 minutes away from the school and they're looking for members of the community to help out.