Project CHANGE serves to improve students’ Academic Engagement

scoresToday was an intense workshop on understanding the impact Project CHANGE aims to make in the lives of K-12 students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds in Montgomery County. We examined the official documentation and test trialed the evaluation instruments before we sat together to share experiences of our own education, and ask ourselves the keyquestion-

What were the influences that shaped our attitude to school, for better or for worse?” 

A lot of amazing stories came out- How a certain teacher or a coach took an interest, or how a student suddenly became competitive with their cousin or their classmates, or someone needed to get above a 2.0 grade average to be able to play on the school football team.

There were lots of different experiences but each of them in their own way demonstrated the lessons of the day, and how to help students develop a more positive and constructive attitude toward their education.  We used the research that says that students engage if they experience


develop CURIOSITY,

can express themselves with ORIGINALITY,

are allowed to foster RELATIONSHIPS,

are taught and mentored with ENTHUSIASM and

experience SAFETY.

The word is SCORES, as a way for the team to remember what the path to their goal is. There are there domains of academic engagement- cognitive, behavioral and emotional. CHANGE is about the third one, to help improve the attitude of students towards their school in all its dimensions.

We explored how AmeriCorps members, acting as mentors and tutors, can “infect” their kids with positivity and enthusiasm, and be a role model of learning.