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8th GRADE PACERS UPCOMING EVENTS:
We'll be attending a Service Learning Activity for the United Way's Operation soon! Date and time to be announced!
Recent 8th Grade PACERS events:
2-19-14: PACERS students began to learn about the Principle of Positive Mental Attitude in this week’s meeting. The students discussed what they thought it meant to have a positive attitude. They provided examples of when they thought they turned a difficult time or challenge into a positive experience by trying to use a positive attitude. Many students found that their peers had also experienced similar challenges to themselves. It was beneficial to hear different ways one another used positive thinking to cope with a tough time. Students then began an expressive art project that asked them to use their creativity to better understand their own positive mental attitude. The PACERS students’ “Overcoming Adversity with Positivity” image boards will be completed next week.
2-12-14: To conclude our first Principle of Controlled Attention, we worked on focusing on what is most important and beneficial with a couple of activities. PACERS students practiced and learned a simple muscle relaxation technique that they can use to improve their focus on assignments and tasks, as well as to encourage clarity before exams. After discussing the relaxation activity, the students participated in a guided imagery activity. They commented that they would like to use guided imagery activities again, specifically before exams or during a difficult time. Relaxation techniques are helpful tools for the students to have on hand to help manage stress and to decrease anxiety that often accompanies testing. These techniques will serve them well as high school students. Students were then asked to complete a journal prompt to reflect on their experience learning about the Principle of Controlled Attention for next week’s meeting.
2-5-14: In conjunction with our Principle of Controlled Attention, students participated in a light-hearted activity about time "suckers." Each student identified something in their life that is "sucking" their time and energy away from their priorities. Many of the students found that they were not alone in what was getting in the way of them being more productive. Together, students helped one another come up with positive alternatives to eliminate these time and energy "suckers." By focusing on what is most important and beneficial, students learned valuable lessons about time and energy management, which will be a necessary skill for them to use as high school students.
1-29-14: PACERS students from EJHS and WJHS attended the Quad City Youth Conference at the Davenport River Center. Students participated in sessions sponsored by community organizations that dealt with important social issues such as drug and substance abuse, social media, bullying, self-esteem, and healthy relationships. Students were able to attend sessions of their choosing and were engaged in activities throughout the day. At the lunch break, pizza was provided, as well as a DJ! Students had time to catch up with friends and a few PACERS students could even be found on the dance floor! The field trip was successful and lots of fun all around! PACERS students are already looking forward to next year's conference!
1-23-14: In our meetings this week, our first Principle of Controlled Attention was introduced. Students were asked to consider their values and priorities by completing a Values Check-List. They focused on one value and then used it to set a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Timely) goal. In order to master Controlled Attention, students need to clearly understand what is most important and beneficial to them. They also must be able to set goals to get there. It was very exciting for the students to share their goals with one another! For most of the PACERS students, graduating high school and attending college are their top priorities! Students will continue to work toward these goals each week!
Our 8th Grade PACERS meetings officially kicked off this week! Meetings at both WJHS and EJHS covered the structure of the PACERS program, the points system, and an overview of the content we will be covering! Students participated in an "ice breaker" game to help everyone become better acquainted! They also completed "Get to Know You" worksheets that provided some in-depth information about their favorite things, what they hope to get out of PACERS, and what they're most looking forward to this semester! It is going to be a fantastic spring for the 8th Grade PACERS!
11-26-13: The 8th Grade PACERS Student & Family Orientation was successful! The welcome event took place at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community CenterStudents, family members, and friends who attended learned more about the PACERS experience and enjoyed a delicious meal! Rock Island School District administrators and school counselors, WIU-QC Dept. of Counselor Education faculty and graduate assistants, and PACERS mentors were all in attendance as well. Current Rock Island High School PACERS students, Eboni and Kyndall, helped register students and spoke to attendees about how PACERS has impacted their lives. It was wonderful to meet the supportive families and friends of our incoming 8th Grade PACERS students! Thank you to all who participated in our first official 8th Grade PACERS event!