Academic Triathlon = freshmen intervention success!
Tonight I attended my school’s first Academic Triathlon. About 15 students (11 or 12 freshmen and 4 seniors who are there coaches) assembled on stage at our theater in a battle of smarts.
The freshmen involved all had at least three Fs at the end of the first semester. They were called into the counseling office and offered this opportunity. They took it. They were split into two teams.
Not all of them who accepted made it to the triathlon. Some got kicked off the team because of attendance issues. Or attitude issues. Or grade issues.
But these kids made it. They studied hard. They worked together. One team was down to four kids. The other, seven or eight.
They were tied most of the match. The team with fewer students was down by three for a while, and rallied to come from behind. And won.
I had students on both teams. And I was just gleaming with pride the whole time.
These kids, who are barely passing my class. Who are barely hanging on. Who had nothing to motivate them at the beginning of the year. Furiously scribbling the right answers to the biology, math, and English questions tonight.
These kids, who are afraid of success. Who shy away from being smart. Who may or may not get academic help at home. They succeeded in an academic setting. They were proud. I could tell. I know a couple of them personally, and that may be the first time in years they’ve felt pride toward anything academic.
And did I mention the coaches? Four seniors, all 4.0 or above GPAs, who are involved in sports and clubs. Taking their time after school three days a week to work with these freshmen. To help them. To motivate them.
I’m just so impressed by them. All of them.
And I’m impressed that my school’s counselors took the time to create this program for these fledgling freshmen instead of just letting them fall through the cracks.