An enriching education in District 30
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With the financial literacy program over, students can now take part in a three-month program on global awareness. The final unit will be civic literacy.
Gerard Poole, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum, said he would like every sixth-grader to participate in at least one unit, which means they could earn a bronze award at graduation. It is one of the district’s Strategic Plan goals to offer more enrichment opportunities for students outside of the normal school day, and the hope is to expand the program to younger students next year.
Poole said the enrichment program is modeled after a high school program and tailored to fit District 30’s needs and available resources. He also explained that by expanding after-school opportunities, it prepares students for junior high and high school when they have a wealth of extra-curricular activities to choose from.
Epstein said she was encouraged by the amount of participation in the Stock Market game — nearly half of the district’s sixth-graders. “In order to stand out, they’re gong to have to go the extra mile,” she said. “They can’t just do what’s expected of them.”
Through the enrichment program, students will learn to work both independently and in teams, and have to complete additional assignments beyond their normal school work.
Epstein said all three topics being offered this year enhance and build upon what children are already learning in school, and teach practical lessons that they can use later in life. “It’s important for students to understand the world around them,” Epstein said.