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Time Warner Cable News: Port City Middle Schoolers Go Back to Class for 5-Week Program

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By Breanna Walden, June 23, 2014

WILMINGTON -- After only a week of summer break, rising seventh and eighth graders went back to the classroom Monday for the first day of the new Youth Enrichment Zone Summer Initiative.

"I'd probably be home doing nothing just watching TV probably," said seventh-grader Ashari Maultsby.

Maultsby was one of 60 hand-picked students taking part in the five-week long program. It incorporates a hands-on educational program known as BELL which stands for Building Educated Leaders for Life.

The Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence brought it to an under-served part of Wilmington to try and cut down on "summer learning loss."

"Some of our students don't have enough access to educational programs in the summer, sometimes if they're not continually getting that stimulation or reading during the summer or doing hands on activities where they are practicing their math skills they can actually slide backwards," said Jana Jones Halls, executive director of the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence.

But the kids won't be stuck in the classroom all day. They get to participate in enrichment activities such as yoga, wood working and each Thursday they go on a field trip.

"They need that academic stimulation, but on top of that, they also need these cultural experiences and these different experiences that they may not have access to," said Halls.

With education, enrichment and lots of encouragement, they hope the students find a path that's clear of trouble and full of potential.

"I know I have to stay in school and not drop out, and I have to encourage myself and keep my confidence up to be able to go through the rest of middle school, high school, early college and college," said Maultsby.

Halls said to evaluate the success of the initiative they had students take a test at the beginning and they'll take one at the end of the five weeks. They also plan to compare end of grade test scores of those who participated to those who did not.

WILMINGTON -- After only a week of summer break, rising seventh and eighth graders went back to the classroom Monday for the first day of the new Youth Enrichment Zone Summer Initiative.

"I'd probably be home doing nothing just watching TV probably," said seventh-grader Ashari Maultsby.

Maultsby was one of 60 hand-picked students taking part in the five-week long program. It incorporates a hands-on educational program known as BELL which stands for Building Educated Leaders for Life.

The Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence brought it to an under-served part of Wilmington to try and cut down on "summer learning loss."

"Some of our students don't have enough access to educational programs in the summer, sometimes if they're not continually getting that stimulation or reading during the summer or doing hands on activities where they are practicing their math skills they can actually slide backwards," said Jana Jones Halls, executive director of the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence.

But the kids won't be stuck in the classroom all day. They get to participate in enrichment activities such as yoga, wood working and each Thursday they go on a field trip.

"They need that academic stimulation, but on top of that, they also need these cultural experiences and these different experiences that they may not have access to," said Halls.

With education, enrichment and lots of encouragement, they hope the students find a path that's clear of trouble and full of potential.

"I know I have to stay in school and not drop out, and I have to encourage myself and keep my confidence up to be able to go through the rest of middle school, high school, early college and college," said Maultsby.

Halls said to evaluate the success of the initiative they had students take a test at the beginning and they'll take one at the end of the five weeks. They also plan to compare end of grade test scores of those who participated to those who did not.

- See more at: http://coastalnc.twcnews.com/content/news/709059/port-city-middle-schoolers-go-back-to-class-for-5-week-program/#sthash.13QvzEkZ.dpuf

WILMINGTON -- After only a week of summer break, rising seventh and eighth graders went back to the classroom Monday for the first day of the new Youth Enrichment Zone Summer Initiative.

"I'd probably be home doing nothing just watching TV probably," said seventh-grader Ashari Maultsby.

Maultsby was one of 60 hand-picked students taking part in the five-week long program. It incorporates a hands-on educational program known as BELL which stands for Building Educated Leaders for Life.

The Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence brought it to an under-served part of Wilmington to try and cut down on "summer learning loss."

"Some of our students don't have enough access to educational programs in the summer, sometimes if they're not continually getting that stimulation or reading during the summer or doing hands on activities where they are practicing their math skills they can actually slide backwards," said Jana Jones Halls, executive director of the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence.

But the kids won't be stuck in the classroom all day. They get to participate in enrichment activities such as yoga, wood working and each Thursday they go on a field trip.

"They need that academic stimulation, but on top of that, they also need these cultural experiences and these different experiences that they may not have access to," said Halls.

With education, enrichment and lots of encouragement, they hope the students find a path that's clear of trouble and full of potential.

"I know I have to stay in school and not drop out, and I have to encourage myself and keep my confidence up to be able to go through the rest of middle school, high school, early college and college," said Maultsby.

Halls said to evaluate the success of the initiative they had students take a test at the beginning and they'll take one at the end of the five weeks. They also plan to compare end of grade test scores of those who participated to those who did not.

- See more at: http://coastalnc.twcnews.com/content/news/709059/port-city-middle-schoolers-go-back-to-class-for-5-week-program/#sthash.13QvzEkZ.dpuf