Honoring Veterans

Allen Sanders
RISD Community Relations Director

On Monday Nov. 11, Veterans Day, please join Rockdale ISD students, faculty, and staff in honoring and thanking all who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The Veterans Day program this year will again be a joint effort with all four schools presenting at one location­Tiger Stadium. Our bands, elementary students, intermediate and local school clubs will perform for our local veterans and their families. The communities of Rockdale and surrounding areas are invited to attend.

We will have a luncheon for our veterans and their spouses at Rockdale Junior High beginning at noon followed by our program at Tiger Stadium beginning at 1:15pm. In case of bad or inclement weather, the ceremony will move to the New Gym at Rockdale High School. There will be two separate programs at this location. The Rockdale Elementary and Rockdale Intermediate program will begin at 1:15 p.m. followed by the Rockdale High School and Rockdale Junior High.

This week we are fortunate to have the RJH iTigers Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) Program Coordinator Sandi Wynn, share with us information regarding her program at the junior high.

The RJH iTigers ACE Program provides structured learning opportunities, positive social interactions and a safe environment for our students. The goals of the ACE program strive to improve academics, attendance, behavior, promotion rates, graduation rates, as well as college and career readiness. Our program sessions, developed with these goals in mind, offer a variety of before and afterschool services to both students and parents.

For students, after school academic and enrichment activities are from 3:35-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and every school day morning from 7-7:55 a.m. Before a student can participate in the after school activities, they must have a completed registration form signed by a parent turned into the office. If a student normally rides the bus, a late bus is available for students participating in the program and leaves RJH at 5:15 p.m.

Keep in mind that the iTigers ACE program is both academic and enrichment based activities. What does that mean to students? It means that the first hour is a snack and Power Hour followed by fun activities (enrichment) and homework help. During Power Hour students participate in activities that will help them do better in their regular school classes. For some students it may be tutorials and for others it may be taking what they are learning in their classes to a higher level by participating in hands-on learning activities. For example, our Science Academy students recently studied about Sublimation, (when a substance goes from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid state) by using dry ice, water, dishwashing soap, and fabric. Our Culinary Arts students not only learn to cook simple foods, but prepare a main dish for our Senior Citizens Center monthly.

The second hour of afterschool time offers enrichment activities such as karate, fitness fun, Wii and a fun fashion class called Fashionista. Students benefit from these activities by increasing movement time (Wii Dance is very energizing), engaging socially with their peers, and have the opportunity to extend learning beyond the school day. For instance, Cindy Key, owner of Texas Martial Arts Academy, teaches Karate to the students at RJH and then offers a free session at her studio for any iTigers ACE karate student.

Other services provided to our students are homework help and open access to the library before school and after school. We offer library time, called Tigers’ Den, in the library from 7 a.m. until first period and again after school until 4:30 p.m. During this time the Librarian and a certified teacher are on hand to help students with homework, class projects, and checking out books (by the Librarian only). Computers and tablets are available for reading eBooks, research, and typing assignments. Students can also play “brain-games” such as chess and checkers.

For parents, RJH in collaboration with the other RISD campuses, provides ESL classes to parents wanting to improve their English (held at the High School) and offers a fitness session called iWalk twice a week at Tiger Stadium. We recently started a six-week Parenting Wisely (conducted in Spanish) session held at the RJH Library and will offer the Parenting Wisely (conducted in English) during the Spring semester. All of these activities are provided free of charge to the parents of RISD students. We look forward to a successful year and are already off to a great start. Remember, success begins with participation, so plan to participate.

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2013-11-07 digital edition

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