Middle school students at Escuela Integrada now have an opportunity to participate in an Honors Club. To be selected, the students must demonstrate a commitment to academic achievement by passing all of their classes and earning high grades. Additionally, the students in Honors Club will give back to their community through service projects, such as tutoring children in the early grades.
“Sometimes the children don’t have the support of their parents at home and they are not able to do their homework,” said Ludyn Emmanuel Garcia Pirir, 8th grade student and Honors Club member. “Their parents might not know how to help them because they don’t know how to read or write.”
Ludyn and three other students, Dalia Gabriela Ortiz Ixla (8th), Dayanna Sophia Guzman (9th) and Yuliet Maldenado Riz (9th), are the first four students to be selected for the Honors Club. They tutored elementary school students for one hour last Tuesday, July 24, to kick off the program.
“It’s a really big support for the children,” said Dalia. “They get to work on things that they are having a hard time with. It also helps us with responsibility and patience.”
Honors Club members will tutor two times per week as part of their commitment to service. They will also participate in educational enrichment activities once per month. The activities are designed to inspire the students in creative thinking, entrepreneurship and other advanced topics.
“The goal of the Honors Club is to push the older kids to achieve more, to have more responsibility and to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Lauren King, Honors Club coordinator. “We want to challenge the top students to keep going after more opportunities and to take on leadership roles.”
Each year, Escuela Integrada awards five scholarships for the students with the highest academic achievement to attend diversificado (high school). Beginning with the new school year in January, students who want to receive a scholarship will be required to participate in Honors Club.
“Many of these kids get messages everyday about how they are not valuable because society believes they are not smart,” said Paula Bohland, executive director of GRACES. “They hear a daily message of ‘can’t.’ We want to do whatever we can do to honor the kids, their gifts and their skills, and to help them know their value.”
Honors Club members will receive special recognition at graduation and at various events throughout the school year.