Current Stories

ConnectiKids Success Stories 2012

Tutoring/Mentoring Program

Michael was a first grader struggling with his academics. The school told his mother that if he did not improve before year’s end he would have to attend summer school and if he fell any further behind could be in danger of staying back. Michael’s mother was concerned, but not sure what her options were, -as her son was not enrolled any programs or receiving any services- reached out to his teacher for help. Michael’s teacher told her about ConnectiKids tutoring/mentoring program and his mother quickly enrolled him. With additional help from his one on one tutor Michael began to improve academically and by the time the school year finished had increased his grades and test scores to the point that he no longer had to worry about having to go to summer school or staying back. His tearful mother contacted ConnectiKids to thank us for helping her son get on track with his academics and for allowing him to enjoy his summer with the family.

Arts & Enrichment Program

KP was a second grade student in ConnectiKids tutoring/mentoring. He was well known for his energy both in the program and at school. Because KP struggled to control this energy he would often find himself in trouble. This year when given the opportunity, he signed up for Martial Arts class as part of ConnectiKids’ Arts and Enrichment program. During his very first class, KP quickly became overexcited, began running around and performing cartwheels.

However, this did not last long as Sensei Clements quickly pulled him to the side for a conversation on rules and expectations. Over the course of the next few weeks KP worked with Sensei using various techniques (breathing, etc.) to help him focus and channel his energy. KP soon became a class helper and one of its best students. He did such a great job that during the ConnectiKids Year End Showcase he contributed to the martial arts demonstration. His mother was able to attend this event and enthusiastically stood clapping the whole time. Afterwards she expressed to the staff how much her son loved the class and how proud she was of him. Not only did KP’s experience have a positive effective in martial arts class, but staff soon noticed that overall he was better behaved and focused.

Summer Program

J was a 3rd grade student entering 4th in the fall. J had previously participated in ConnectiKids’ tutoring/mentoring program and was a very challenging student for most of the year. His mother had been contacted several times about his behavior, but she also struggled with his temper. She continued to support ConnectiKids by making sure J attended and followed the behavioral guidelines of the program. During the first week of summer program J’s mom called asking to register him. Although his group was full, we made some adjustments and accepted him into another. On J’s first day of programming he gave the staff a very difficult time and had to sit out a few times to collect himself. The second and third days were not much better as he continued to struggle with his behavior. On the fourth day, his group had a segment of the class where they were able to “move and groove” to music from around the world. Without hesitating J took the floor with some amazing dance moves. He began doing front and back flips, hand stands, etc…

While he was doing this, his class mates began cheering him on and everyone was impressed by his moves. Once class was over and the group began to head back to the school, J ran out of line and straight up to the staff saying “Miss, this was the best day ever!” when the staff replied, “It was, why?”, he replied, “Yes, I got the chance to be myself and do something I love and all of my friends and you were very proud of me. That makes me happy. I like when I can express myself, it makes me happy.” The staff was amazed to hear this and realized what/how to motivate J the rest of the summer.

Staff allowed J to be himself and display his many talents that summer, but for him to have the opportunity to do so, he had to earn it. J would get the opportunity to participate in the move and groove class as long as he could follow all of the programs rules. If for some reason he was having a challenging day, J would have to accept that he made a mistake or did something wrong and to apologize; if he was able to learn –with staff’s help – how to control his anger and reduce the number of behavioral outburst he would be able to participate in dance class. J took advantage of every opportunity to dance. He had other challenging days with his class mates, mostly with  the other boys, but he was able to start fresh after speaking with staff and he would always say “I’m sorry I got angry, can I try again?” and staff was able to slowly watch him grow over the course of the summer. Soon J was excelling in cooking and in many of the theme based activities such as the jeopardy games played on Fridays, which contained content questions revolving around the seven continents. J left the ConnectiKids Summer Program having had a great experience and feeling self-confident. One of the highlights of our summer was giving J’s mother a call to let her know that he was doing a great job and how far he had progressed, which made her extremely proud.

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