The 2014 school year is bringing many exciting changes when it comes to Communities In Schools’ work in Alexander County. One of our new programs comes in the form of Cougar Seminar, which is offered to students in 9th through 12th grade at Alexander Central High.
Cougar Seminar is an advisory program that began on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. Between September 3 and October 29th, students will meet in small groups with an assigned advisor (trained school faculty member) each Wednesday for 25 minutes. For the remainder of the school year, these meetings will take place every other week. Students will remain with the same advisor until graduation.
Seminar Advisors serve not only as instructors, but as caring adults in the lives of our students: there to be a confidant and support through triumphs and trials. They also are a liaison to the students’ families: Advisors are required to make four parent/guardian contacts for each participant throughout the year.
While making invaluable connections with their Advisors and peers, participants also work through character- and resilience-building activities as a group. Topics covered so far this year have included study skills, dating violence, cyber-bullying, digital footprints, internet safety, and more. ‘
Reception of the program has been both amazing and encouraging. Youth report that Seminar has become their favorite class, noting that “The pressure is off and you can get to the meat of things.” Moreover, life-changing relationships continue to grow and blossom: learners have already felt comfortable approaching their advisors with difficult issues. In one instance, a student was able to open up about their advisor about another youth’s struggle with self harm. The teacher was able to intervene accordingly and help put an end to the destructive behavior.
If you or someone you know would like to know more about Cougar Seminar, please contact Angie Yates today!