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School Resource Officer spends time during his club building upon student relationships

Last year, new principal Pamie Reese earmarked a block of time each day for students to participate in intervention or enrichment. This block was known as P.I.E. time, where each student was assigned either a core remediation class or a club offering. The decision was made for students to be grouped by areas of need in specific subject areas, as well as to provide opportunities to learn and grow “soft skills” not often overtly taught in the general classroom setting.  Another priority was creating a club structure in which ALL students could participate.  The current schedule allows for just that.  Each student is assigned a content, organizational/study skills, or “soft skills” group Monday through Thursday, with EVERY child participating in a club on Friday.

 “It was a priority for us to have all of our students be included in clubs.  Clubs provide a time for teachers and students to connect on a deeper level, getting to know one another as people versus the role they play at school,” Reese said.  “It’s important to note that organization and the ability to clearly and respectfully communicate and problem solve, are important life skills our students sometimes lack.  This structure provides us the space and time to address it all.”

 This year, clubs are based on hobbies and interests, with a vast range of topics.  Many clubs aim at building community connections and nurturing soft skills for future success.

 New teacher, Krisina Genovese is working to make community connections through her “Make it PAWsible” club.  Her belief is that a person’s true colors are shown in how they treat animals and how they serve the community. Students create toys from old clothes and make snacks from simple ingredients to provide entertainment and nourishment for animals in shelters so they remain active, happy, and playful while awaiting a forever home.  Her hope is that volunteering in this way will build responsibility while fostering a true sense of compassion.

 Teacher and Coach Matt Reid is encouraging students to stay active through his Ride the Wave skateboarding club.  Students learn skateboarding safety and skills, and get to practice and refine their craft by riding the concrete wave. If you are interested in donating skateboards or safety gear, please contact the school for more information.  All donations are welcomed and very much appreciated.

 The school resource officer, Jerry Rios, is also stepping up to do his part for the students.  He is facilitating the Blue Cubs, a club where students learn about all things law enforcement.  Students review ongoing social trends and associated dangers, and learn about the importance of demonstrating self-respect, self-control, and good citizenship.  They also get to check out equipment used by law enforcement officers and to meet the K-9 unit.

 It has been a difficult year for many staff and students in Craven County Schools.  It is the goal of the HJ MacDonald staff to instill a sense of belonging, pride, and character into our students so they continue to persevere and to thrive no matter what circumstances are presented.  The new and improved P.I.E. time is just one way HJ MacDonald is working to help meet the needs of EVERY child, EVERY day.