Students flock to school on Saturdays - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students flock to school on Saturdays

January 24, 2004

Dawson- The classes at Terrell Middle High School on Saturdays are not filled with your everyday students. It's made up of a mix of 6th to 12th grader, who are taking an interest in their education and don't mind coming to school on the weekend to do it.

"They are actually dedicated. They commit themselves to come every other Saturday and we're pleased about that. It says a lot for our students it says a lot for our staff," says Superintendent Robert Aaron.

"This is the place that I go to on Saturdays when I don't have any where else to go instead of me being in the streets. It helps me learn about drugs, and schoolwork, and to strive for my best," admits 10th grader, Rontorious Smith.

The four hour program is split into two parts, one that focuses on motivation and another that focuses on education. Some of the students have been volunteering to go to school on Saturday's for more than a year and say they've learned lessons they just don't get Monday through Friday.

Eighth grader Meesha Holmes says she learned to, "just be yourself. Don't try to be anybody your not. No matter what people say just try to still go forward."

"On Saturday, I can be myself. I don't just have to sit in the classroom and listen to the teacher lecture on a subject. I can be myself. I can interact with the instructor," adds 10th grader Kari Stephens.

But, the program does more than motivate the students and give them something to do. Academically, it's putting them ahead of the game.

"The data shows that if they attend Saturday institutes or after school programs where we can identify the weaknesses that they fail on the graduation test, they tend to do a lot better. The rates are up. Our job is to get them here. If we get them here we think that we can motivate them to do well on the graduation test and that's our goal," says Aaron.

The Terrell Middle-High School Saturday institute has been in place for seven years. The students meet two Saturday's a month.

Posted at 5:40 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com