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Kids Hope USA Program is Up and Running at Webster School

  11/07/13 The Plymouth School Board handled a number of agenda items during their regular monthly meeting on November 5.

Webster Elementary Principal, Carrie McGuire, told the Board that the Kids Hope USA program is up and running at her school.  According to McGuire, there are 10 mentors working with ten students each week. The idea was first presented to the Board last spring by McGuire and Pastor Mark Need of Trinity United Methodist Church. Need had been involved in a similar program in another community prior to coming to Plymouth. At the initial introduction to the Board, Need said they intended to start with members of the church he pastors and perhaps expands to other local churches in the future.

Kids Hope USA is a church-school partnership that pairs church members with potentially at-risk students. Mentors agree to spend one hour each week reading, talking, playing and listening to a child in the hope that they can make a difference in a child’s life. The students are selected to participate from referrals by teachers, school social workers, or by parent requests. Sessions are held during the school day during student’s lunch or recess times.

Jessica Gordon has been named the Director of the program Mentors receive training before starting their assignments with students.

McGuire shared her appreciation for those mentors already involved, but said she would still like to see more male volunteers,

In other matters, the Board heard a presentation by Co-Directors of the Weidner School of Inquiry (WSOI), Jennifer Felke and Mike Delp. WSOI is a project-based “school within a school” at Plymouth High School. The school is in the second year of operation. They outlined several proposed new course changes for the 2014-2015 school year.

Among proposed changes is a course offered to juniors in AP English. If successful in the course, students could earn two possible credits for college level education. Delp said they would also offer Regular Grade 11 English.

Although Government and Economics are historically offered at the senior level, plans are to extend the courses to juniors. Felke said, “If they take the classes as juniors, then students could sign up for more elective course as seniors.”

Additional courses being proposed in Physics/Ag Power and Sustainable Energy Alternatives; and Digital Portfolio. Students could earn four possible dual credits. The Plymouth School Corporation could also be granted vocational monies ($250-$750) from the state.

Propose elective courses could include: College Entrance Preparation; Personal Financial Responsibility; and PCI-Professional Career Internship.

Carol Anders Correspondent