By David Shivers
Thursday afternoon, March 18, DoCo Kiwanians got to witness some of the first fruits borne of the Bringing Up Grades Program the club began sponsoring earlier this school year.
At the Jefferson Street Boys & Girls Club, one of 10 BUG sites across Albany, approximately 30 students gathered in a meeting room, where they shared the grade progress they had made, as well as their aspirations for the future.
Kiwanis BUG Jefferson Street site coordinator Reba Stewart called on each pupil in the room individually to contribute to the session.
By the time it was over, it had been revealed that while some students raised their grade averages by just a few points, others had achieved as much as two to three letter grade jumps.
Many of the students also acknowledged that the results of their hard work had engendered personal feelings within them. Words such as “responsible,” “confident,” “special,” and “proud” were a common refrain. Perhaps these feelings have helped to inspire these kids to the life career goals they expressed. Among their occupational choices were police officer, lawyer, doctor, professional baseball or football player, and CEO.
While grades and goals are important, Mrs. Stewart also emphasized the need for positive life choices.
“Keep your character clean in the way you live your life,” she urged.
The names of each student were entered in two drawings, with the prizes being tickets to movie showings and accompanying coupons for discounts on refreshments. The winners were Thomas Sampson and Ke’Auja Hilburton.
All of the grade-achieving students will be treated to a pizza party at a date to be announced.
The purpose of the BUG Program is to provide short-term incentive for students to improve grades, but in the long run teach them the value of working toward goals and developing assets that will make them less likely to engage in risky or inappropriate behavior.
Pictured above, BUG Jeffereson Street coordinator Reba Stewart and Boys & Girls Club staff member Steve Belk conduct the drawing to determine two prize winners for the first grading period.