Goff Mid­dle School stu­dents fin­ish year strong

‘Has­bro Change­maker Award’ among sev­eral earned by lo­cal eighth-graders

Pawtucket Times - - BLACKSTONE VALLEY -

PAW­TUCKET — Ly­man B. Goff Mid­dle School stu­dents are agents for change. So much so, in fact, that a group of stu­dents were cho­sen to com­pete in the “Has­bro Change­maker Award” con­test through Has­bro toy com­pany and Gen­er­a­tion Cit­i­zen, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that fos­ters civic en­gage­ment.

Af­ter stu­dents in Eric As­selin’s civics classes pre­sented an ar­ray of im­prove­ments to is­sues within the com­mu­nity, the stu­dents were praised for their ideas and pro­pos­als. Jai­dyn Long, an eighth­grade stu­dent at Goff, was cho­sen to win the $200 award for her pitch to im­prove school safety.

Stu­dents col­lec­tively pre­sented pro­pos­als to min­i­mize lit­ter­ing, pro­moted anti-bul­ly­ing cam­paigns and dis­cussed pos­si­ble so­lu­tions to city aes­thet­ics through com­mu­nity pro­jects, like re­pair­ing pot­holes.

Donna Mink of Has­bro said af­ter lis­ten­ing to the stu­dents present ear­lier this month, “I was im­pressed with the com­pas­sion that they have for oth­ers. Mostly all the pro­jects were about be­ing in­clu­sive and aware of their sur­round­ings and the is­sues of their sur­round­ings. I was im­pressed with that, at such a young age.”

As­selin said the ini­tia­tive is im­por­tant be­cause it al­lows stu­dents, “To learn how to be ac­tive in their com­mu­nity, how to ad­vo­cate for them­selves (and) how to ad­vo­cate for is­sues that they care about.”

“You have the power to change the things in your com­mu­nity even at a young age,” he said.

Through civics cour­ses and part­ner­ships like those formed with Has­bro and Gen­er­a­tion Cit­i­zen, As­selin said, stu­dents learn how to raise aware­ness about causes, how to com­mu­ni­cate their ideas and how to con­tact their state rep­re­sen­ta­tives to be more civi­cally en­gaged.

“This pro­gram does a great job of do­ing that,” he said.

Mink said, “It’s im­por­tant that our youth to­day be aware of the is­sues that we have in our so­ci­ety and be will­ing to make a dif­fer­ence go­ing for­ward ...They have a voice.” Stu­dents awarded for char­ac­ter, achieve­ments

Aca­demics, ath­let­ics, ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­ity par­tic­i­pa­tion and char­ac­ter were among the core el­e­ments cel­e­brated at Goff Mid­dle School’s an­nual eighth-grade “Hon­ors Night,” where stu­dents and their fam­i­lies piled into the au­di­to­rium for the cer­e­mony.

Many of the awards were a sur­prise to un­know­ing stu­dents who re­ceived recog­ni­tion the night of the cer­e­mony for their “team player” char­ac­ter­is­tics and ded­i­ca­tion to their work, whether in aca­demics, sports, the arts, or other clubs and ac­tiv­i­ties.

Stu­dents who main­tained high hon­ors, hon­ors for the en­tire aca­demic year and hon­ors for the du­ra­tion of three years at Goff were lauded for their com­mit­ment to school­work and handed awards from fac­ulty mem­bers, as were stu­dents who main­tained perfect at­ten­dance.

Goff staff mem­bers also pre­sented depart­men­tal awards, in­clud­ing his­tory, sci­ence, for­eign lan­guage, tech­nol­ogy, li­brary, mu­sic and drama hon­ors. Sev­eral stu­dents also re­ceived awards named af­ter Goff alumni and for­mer ed­u­ca­tors, as well as groups such as the Paw­tucket Teach­ers Al­liance.

Af­ter the event, Prin­ci­pal Lisa Benedetti-Ramzi said, “I am so proud of these stu­dents. They are the lead­ers among their peers. They al­ways go above and be­yond aca­dem­i­cally, be­hav­iorally and in­ter­per­son­ally. I can­not wait to see what they will ac­com­plish as they grow older. I would like to wish them the best and hope they never for­get their mid­dle school.”

Sub­mit­ted photo

Stu­dents from Ly­man B. Goff Mid­dle School and em­ploy­ees of Has­bro toy com­pany teamed up for the ‘Has­bro Change­maker Award’ con­test. Stu­dents col­lec­tively pre­sented pro­pos­als to min­i­mize lit­ter­ing, pro­moted anti-bul­ly­ing cam­paigns and dis­cussed pos­si­ble...

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