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The other standards

POSTED: March 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Students participate in a wide variety of activities throughout the school year most of which are related to the academic subjects including math, language arts, science and social studies. Some may not realize that special school-wide activities which may be viewed as "fun" activities for students are meeting academic guidelines and state standards as well.

The annual Career Fair at Carver Elementary School which is organized and presented by the guidance counselor and volunteer coordinator may seem like a "fun" activity for students and community participants. However, this day-long activity meets state standards for guidance by having students identify different types of work, both paid and unpaid. The fair gives the students an opportunity to describe the work of family members, school personnel, and community workers. Students can see firsthand how school tasks are similar to skills which are necessary for job success. As students explore the various demonstrations of the presenters, they develop an awareness of different occupations and have a sense of the skills needed to pursue these occupations. From classroom presentations on individual careers to a visit to the exhibit hall of displays presented by local business and government agencies, this activity is fun for all with learning as its focus.

The physical education department is another area where students are having fun but are meeting important educational standards. Recently at Carver Elementary, nearly 700 students participated in Jump Rope for Heart. This program promotes a student’s physical fitness and heart health through jumping rope. Students who participate in this activity improve skill performance and physical fitness. This fun activity supports the National Standards of Physical Education by encouraging children to regularly participate in physical activity and to value physical activity. It teaches teamwork as students work with their team to benefit themselves, their school, and their community. Jump Rope for Heart teaches students how exercise benefits the heart and volunteering benefits the community. Carver students with the support of their families raised $18,500 for the American Heart Association. These funds support cardiovascular disease research and public and professional educational programs which should also benefit students as they grow older.

School media centers also offer special programs for students. The Georgia State Media Festival is one example. Students are given an opportunity to participate in this extracurricular activity in order to stimulate student interest and involvement in all types of media production. By participating in this activity, students at Carver Elementary demonstrate that they meet a state standard for technology by identifying, understanding, and using technology tools. This activity is student-focused and must be an original student creation. Faculty and parental guidance is acceptable, but all work must be done by the student. Student entries may advance through three levels of judging including local, system, and state. This allows students to show their original work, to have it critiqued by a panel of expert judges, and to be inspired by the work of their peers.

Many exciting activities take place at schools throughout the year. Whether the student is learning in math, reading, physical education, or working in the media center, schools are focused on the information and skills the student needs to become a successful, contributing member of the community.

Written by Crystal Morales, assistant principal at Carver Elementary.

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