A few days ago my group and I went to Henderson. I had never seen a Higher Achievement program firsthand so it was cool to see how they run the program. I immediately recognized some richmond students who walked in late and they were mentors for the students. While we took a group of about 12 students (with one exit and one late addition), the rest of the students worked on other specialized projects or had small mentoring groups. There were quite a few adults who also came to help and mentor, I thought the mix of college students and older adults was very cool.
We started our session by telling the kids our names and then we quickly transitioned into a fun Hop game in which I asked them questions and if they agreed they jumped towards me and if they disagreed they stayed in place. The kids got pretty riled up by this activity but it was fun to see them get excited and smile.
Next we sat in a circle, which some kids did not enjoy because apparently the floor is gross, and we had each kid tell us their name, grade, animal, and favorite ice cream flavor. It was a nice ice breaker and they seemed to enjoy having a chance to speak to us.
We then played a charade game in which you are assigned an animal and you must act out that animal and find your partner without making a noise. They enjoyed this activity so much that we played it two more times.
We sat back down at the table and passed out scripts while Maren explained who Shakespeare was and why he is a cool guy. The plot was challenging to explain to a bunch of middle schoolers. I ended up drawing a love triangle chart so they could visually see the craziness that takes place in Twelfth Night. A few kids seemed super excited about having big parts which was encouraging to see. Next time Maren will go alone since Page and I had already booked flights home. But I cannot wait to return and work with them.