Archive for March, 2012
• Creating custom flower pots for donation to American House senior living center
• Making teddy bears and pillows for distribution to the Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team and the Ronald McDonald House
• Crafting awareness ribbons for the Greater Detroit Chapter of Child Help foster care program.
“We want to teach students that volunteerism and helping out in your community is a win-win situation,” said Winning Futures’ Vice President and Program Director Laurie Tarter. “It demonstrates to schools and employers the individual’s strength of character and willingness to ‘give back,’ while making the volunteer feel good about making a positive difference in somebody else’s life.”
After the lesson and activities were completed, students were encouraged to continue seeking out community service and volunteer opportunities on their own.
Encouraging academic success is an important component of Winning Futures’ curriculum, but the development of “Life Skills” is another. Students recently explored this subject by participating in several community service projects.
Each mentor group adopted a community service project to benefit a specific cause. By doing so, students discovered how volunteering can help others and themselves through benefits such as:
• Synergy – Volunteers bring about improvement in their lives by becoming more connected to friends and family, being happier and having a more positive outlook on life in general.
• Education – Teens often gain new skills and find new career opportunities through community service. The experiences gained in volunteer settings provide teens with skills in leadership and decision-making. These assets look attractive on college and scholarship applications.
• Personality – Volunteers learn about respect and kindness through community service. Teens in particular develop a better appreciation for the “little things” in life and also gain the personal satisfaction of knowing they have made a difference.
• Employment – Besides finding new career opportunities, volunteering also provides teens with other skills necessary in the job market such as communication and interpersonal skills.
This important “Life Skills” lesson is outlined in Winning Futures’ “Achieving Success” workbook. Click on the “Purchase Books” button at left to learn more.
Just saying the word “test” can cause a student’s stress level to rise. Fortunately, by using some of the techniques Winning Futures’ has developed and outlined in its curriculum and workbooks, students can alleviate this stress, improve their test-taking ability and increase their grades.
According to Winning Futures’ Program Facilitator Taquaryl Franklin, “70-percent of Winning Futures’ students improve their test scores and overall grades by at least half a grade over six weeks.” Some of the techniques used to achieve these extraordinary results are:
• Studying early and regularly as opposed to “cramming.”
• Carefully reading course materials and test directions.
• Using tricks such as acronyms to aid memory retention.
Tips such as these – and many more – can be found in Winning Futures’ “Road to Success” workbook. Click on the “Purchase Books” button at left to learn more.
Winning Futures and Detroit Public Schools kicked-off a new pilot program at Cass Technical High School on March 1. At the first session, mentors and mentees met each other at a “break the ice session.” Mentors took five minutes to introduce themselves to each group of students to demonstrate the inaugural session’s underlying theme: The importance of synergy – i.e. forming relationships – in a professional setting.
As many research studies and business experts can attest, synergy is a vital component in successful business dealings and professional advancement. In an article entitled The Benefits and Challenges of Team Collaboration, business management and human services expert Bruce Tyson stated that those who emphasize fostering synergy in day-to-day activities “create results that are greater than what can be achieved working independently. Among other things… synergies can be manifested in reduced costs, increased capabilities, and more flexibility to adapt to changing requirements.”
This introductory exercise introduced Cass Tech students to the Winning Futures’ curriculum outlined in our unique, professionally developed handbook for high-school students, Achieving Success: A Guide to Designing Your Future. In the weeks to come, students will explore further topics such as self exploration, career options and long-term goal-setting.
All these lessons, along with accompanying exercises and development tools, are available for you to utilize through our special collection of workbooks for middle and high-school students. These are available for purchase through our website by clicking here. Check them out today to see how Winning Futures can help you help your students achieve their goals and live up to their full potential!