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Wednesday, Dec. 05, 2012

Students prep for test, high school

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Months after the pilot program began, Faith Middle School introduced all eighth-graders to the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program in order to prepare students for not only transitioning to high school, but in preparation for TerraNova testing in March.

The students are divided between six instructors.

The students will learn a new skill each lesson, including confidence building, attention control and energy management. The first lesson started Thursday, which focused on mental skills and performance enhancement, and will continue twice a month ending in late February.

“It gives them a break between each of the lessons to practice each skill and then come back and talk about what they used and what they haven’t used,” said Cody Sohn, an instructor who also participated in the pilot program. “They can get to know us a little better, we can get to know them a little bit better instead of just ‘one and done.’”

Through spreading out the lessons, she said the instructors can develop a more long-term relationship with the students.

“I think with mental skills like this, the more you can have that relationship built with them — it builds rapport and that really helps out … rather than ‘hey we’re here, hopefully you remember the skills.’ We can actually do more of a check-in with them the more we see them. And I think that that really helps.” Eighth-grader Chloe Crapo said she plans to use the skills learned from the first lesson and future lessons for more than just academics. It could help her build confidence in playing sports, she said.

“I’m looking forward to taking these skills and putting them toward a real tennis match,” she said.

She expects the program to help her also with confidence when the time to take the TerraNova test rolls around. “I think it will help me wake up that day and say ‘this is what you’ve been prepping for all year. This is what your teachers have been training you to do, so now just trust in that,’” she said.

Children are part of the program’s focus, Sohn said, as the program “really hits on that second F.” That F stands for Family.

Chloe issued a word of warning about keeping up with the lessons.

“If you paid attention it should help,” she said. “Because it’s going to help me.”

Over the summer, Faith Middle School and CSF2 instructors held a two-day pilot program for 32 students going to high school. The program focused on increasing student’s mental skills and prepared them for transitioning high school.

For more information about the program at Faith, call the school at 706- 545-0310.

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