Take Back Polk’s se­cond year launches this week

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­nal.net

The in­au­gu­ral year of Take Back Polk achieved what Com­mis­sioner and Mid­dle School teacher Jen­nifer Hulsey al­ways hoped would be the end prod­uct. Her goal to con­nect stu­dents who are strug­gling to suc­ceed in mid­dle school with men­tors who want to help, and watch the pos­i­tive re­sults was met.

It worked out that stu­dents got cer­tifi­cates for their par­tic­i­pa­tion and com­ple­tion of the pro­gram at the end of the 2017-18 school year.

Now with many of those same stu­dents and men­tors back from sum­mer va­ca­tion and into fall, the pro­gram is get­ting back un­der­way for the se­cond year.

“I think last year was suc­cess­ful, and we’re go­ing to con­tinue mov­ing for­ward to help chil­dren with our pro­gram,” Hulsey said.

Be­tween the two mid­dle schools, Hulsey said there are around 60 stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing, po­ten­tially more in the se­cond year of Take Back Polk.

To­day and Thurs­day, men­tors join stu­dents back at Cedar­town and Rock­mart Mid­dle Schools to get back to work to­ward achiev­ing pos­i­tive goals in a stu­dent’s life. Whether it be work­ing harder to gain bet­ter grades, or mod­i­fy­ing be­hav­ior to get into less trou­ble while in the reg­u­lar class set­ting, the ul­ti­mate goal is for youth to get the guid­ance they need to make good life de­ci­sions.

No ma­jor changes are in store for the pro­gram this year, though she said a slight uptick in the num­ber of stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing.

Progress for the stu­dents in the pro­gram isn’t mea­sured only by their grades or dis­ci­plinary record. For Hulsey and oth­ers, it has been their at­ti­tude that shows her the pro­gram is mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

The pro­gram was formed last year by Hulsey for both Cedar­town and Rock­mart Mid­dle Schools with the help of Sam Branch.

Ad­di­tional help from the Polk School District ad­min­is­tra­tion to get it in place in the two schools started with men­tor se­lec­tions in Au­gust 2017 and moved on from there with monthly meet­ings be­tween stu­dents and men­tors.

Once the se­cond year launch is com­pleted at the end of this month, stu­dents and men­tors will gather on a monthly ba­sis, and if stu­dents meet cer­tain goals set forth dur­ing this week they’ll get chances to take part in ac­tiv­i­ties later in the year.

Hulsey said the pro­gram will likely hold off on tak­ing any ad­di­tional men­tors for the time be­ing, but that peo­ple can and have helped in other ways. For in­stance, when stu­dents get to take part in spe­cial pro­grams later this year, help will be needed in other ways.

Those in­ter­ested in help­ing the pro­gram via do­na­tions can con­tact Hulsey via e-mail at [email protected]

/ Kevin Myrick, SJ File

Com­mis­sioner Jen­nifer Hulsey, who also serves as an ed­u­ca­tor at Cedar­town Mid­dle School and helped or­ga­nize the Take Back Polk pro­gram, spoke to stu­dents about her ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their work this year with men­tors from the com­mu­nity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.