We are finishing our first semester of the GEMS -Gaining Empowerment in Middle School program. We developed GEMS specifically for middle school age children of incarcerated parents because the research shows that is when the warning signs for depression, gang activity and dropping out of school emerge.
It has been a great experience and on Saturday, May 29th we held a celebration for the GEMS students from our two demonstration schools. What a fantastic day! The real purpose was to let students have fun after what has been the strangest, most anxious year of their lives. But we also used the time to let them talk about what they learned this year. GEMS Manager Brandi Walker asked students to give presentations on five topics that were covered in GEMS lesson plans this year:
Learning to Listen,
Students spoke, read from essays, recited an original poem, and even performed an original rap song. The best part of the day was seeing the pride that their parents and guardians took in seeing their kids recognized for their accomplishments.
It was a wonderful event and we can't wait to see our students in class again!