My school district has over 15,000 students with large numbers of Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Asian, Filipino, and Polish students. There are 51 different languages spoken at home, and we are a suburban school district surrounded by urban school districts. We pride ourselves on offering many opportunities for our students so they can grow academically, athletically, emotionally, and socially.
Our high school has 3,300 students; we offer 25 varsity sports and 3 varsity academic competition teams, including our FIRST Robotics Team, The Mechanical Mustangs, of which I am the lead mentor.
Part of the FIRST Mid-Atlantic District, we will be competing in FIRST Rise: Infinite Recharge. Our 5 ft, 125 lb robot has won numerous engineering awards and qualified for the FIRST Championship five times.
The National Center for Education Statistics  attributed living in poverty during early childhood, in part, to education-related deficiencies, inadequacies with physical and cognitive development, and disparities regarding access to healthcare. These students are five times more likely to drop out and 13 times less likely to graduate high school on time. Over 50% of our students live in poverty, but adding positive school-based relationships greatly increases the desire to graduate and internal motivation to succeed.
Our students go into our CELAs [Clifton Early Learning Academies] and participate with these young people in STEM activities. We also host parent nights and STEM nights.
We want to bring Welch's Fruit Rolls as snacks to our outreach events and use the snack bags to make a treat to give away to each student to take home.
These fruit rolls will give our little ones energy and will help them in the afternoon when we are having our robot activities. Everyone always loves to take a treat home. We will also include a raffle ticket and some of the students will win some robot prizes.
The activities we have planned are using SparkleBots, Botleys, and STEM Straws. Working on these activities with our youngest students helps them gain fine motor skills, a growth mindset, and pattern recognition. It also helps my older students learn how to empathize and be a leader. Thank you for supporting our young people.
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