‘Getting There’ offers encouragement to troubled kids

Some students have problems getting there in school. “Getting There” is an academic assistance group that works with students to help them reach their full learning potential.

Marianne Stuart, counselor, created the organization six years ago. However, for the last three years, Bruce Liggett, counselor, and Mary Parish, gifted resource teacher, have run the group. This year Liggett will be running the group alone.

“The idea of the group is to give students a way for themselves to make changes in areas needed,” Liggett said.

The group mainly recruits sophomores and juniors because, unlike freshman, there is a basis of where the students are struggling and need improvement. Typically, seniors have other things they are focusing on, like looking for colleges, — said.

The organization usually receives members by referrals from a counselor, teacher or administrator who has spotted a struggling student. Parents may also make request for their children to be admitted into the group.

Last year the group consisted of four members. This year Liggett hopes to recruit around 20 students.

“We look for students that are academically capable but their grades don’t show it,” Parish said.

Every A day, the group meets to discuss different strategies to become a better student. The meetings rotate through the hour schedule so students don’t fall behind in a particular class.

“We focus on study skills like organization, time management and test preparation,” Liggett said. “[These are skills] the students can use now and in the future.”

Each meeting the group goes over a different skill to help them.

“The knowledge the kids gain builds upon itself,” Liggett said. “It’s not just a useless meeting on study skills that can just be forgotten.”

The group not only focuses on study skills, but also on how to achieve goals through a plan of action.

“We are not only working on grades but also self-esteem,” Liggett said. “If the kids realize through effort and hard work they can achieve goals, they feel better about themselves.”

Principal Greg Mathison supports the efforts of the “Getting There” organization.

“Anyway we can try to reach our students is a positive thing,” Mathison said.