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Program's Academic Aims Sought Outside Classroom

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By touching, exploring, makI ing and doing they experience I a departure from the idea of I "school." Although the aims I are academie, the activities are I centered outside the classroom. I Most of the youngsters inI volved in this six-week enrichI ment project need to develop I better language skills, but acI cording to M r s. Josephine Brockow, who is director of compensatory education for the I Ann Arbor Public Schools, "an atmosphere that is different and more relaxed will help them find these skills." The name of this federallysupported educational experience is the 1970 Ann Arbor Summer Title I Program, and it involves about 270 students from areas which contain the highest 1 concentrations of low-income families. Located at Mack, Jones, Northside, Clinton, Bach and Mitchell schools, tre Title I program is divided into three sections: a work-study project for 13-15-year-old youths, a seventh grade transition project for students who will be entering the junior high schools next fall, and a project for seven to nineyear-olds. Each school has its own activities which are flexible enough to allow these youngsters to identify their specific interests and skills and their problems as well. "There is only one requirement that our staff must follow," says Mrs. Brockow, "and that is not to use a textbook." Through various activities such as visiting a strawberry patch, studying how foods grow or sewing doll clothes, the students are building their own selfconfidence in acquiring new language skills. Choosing the areas that interest them, the students involved in the work-study división undertake such things as previewing films and film strips and then writing brief reviews or evaluations of their effectiveness as instructional aids. All of these experiences tion to help the individual potential of each youth, and help to re-orient them into entering the mainstream of school and community life. "We have a ratio of one staff member to every five students," Mrs. Brockow says. "This gives them a great deal of indirect counseling and makes the program flexible to their individual needs." The teachers for the program will also return to the same schools next fall to provide follow-up services and evaluation of the program and youngsters involved. "This type of follow-up will provide a great deal of impact for the schools," she says. Not only do the students attend the schools in their own neighborhoods but the staffs are i composed of paraprofessional and high school student teaching assistants who are also from their neighborhoods. "The program attempts to show students the vast amount of resources in their own residential areas and parental invol vement is also encouraged," says Mrs. Brockow. The half-day sessions are structured, or unstructured as the case may be, to enlarge the learning experiences of these children by developing the basie concepts which underlie subject I matter content. This is opposed I to the drill and content method. This program also operates to give the páraprofessional staff members effective experiences and training in working with teachers in the role of teacher aides. The Summer Title I Program, funded under the Elementary and Seeondary Education Act, will close-out at the end of this month but it is the opinión of Mrs. Brockow that it will have great effect not only on the participants but also on the schools as well.