"Bermudian principal lauds
school's 'Project Wisdom' "
Three years ago, the federal "No Child Left Behind" program
was created to require school districts to strengthen their academic
standards for all students.
For the third consecutive year, Bermudian Springs High School has
met those goals and received state recognition for adequate yearly
progress in the program.
But it isn't just an emphasis on academic goals that is helping
Bermudian students succeed.
"We feel it's extremely important to educate the entire
person," said high school Principal Russell Greenholt.
"Academically we are doing a great job - but we not only need
to educate students' minds - we need to give them the skills and
tools they can use in society."
Greenholt pointed to Project Wisdom as an example.
Every morning, a brief story or message is read to students over
the public-address system at the beginning of the day. The messages,
are typically written by key persons in society to whom the students
Each message has a moral which encourages good attitudes such as
social awareness, diversity, honestly, forgiveness, and most of
all respect, said Greenholt.
"Respecting others, that's the bottom line to everything. There
is nothing more critical," said Greenholt. "Project Wisdom
sets the tone for the day. This is a focus for us."
Being respectful and socially responsible is also the focus of a
special course that meets several times a year for all ninth and
10th grade students.
Some of the issues the program delves into are goal setting, study
skills, diversity training, career choices, tolerance, drug and
alcohol abuse and leadership skills, said Greenholt.
This year, the students are learning more about patriotism through
a program called "American Heart and Soul." During each
session the students hear real stories about ordinary people who
have overcome great obstacles and gone on to make extraordinary
"This is true character education," said Greenholt. "The
kids learn that some people may not be rich in material things but
they can be rich because of the people around them. They can be
rich in friendship and that's what counts."
Bermudian students have responded to the new programs enthusiastically
and have shown their concern for others, he said.
Greenholt pointed to the students' response to Hurricane Katrina.
He said that students at the high school sent several thousand dollars,
150 cases of bottled water and a couple thousand pounds of clothing
to be used in the relief effort.
"Through these programs our kids are establishing skills and
tools that they can use in society for the rest of their lives,"
said Greenholt. "No matter what walk of life they take, if
when they have a tough decision to make they can look back and remember
something we showed them - then we are successful."
Reprinted with permission
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