Bullying has an adverse effect on the academic achievement of its victims, according to a recent U.S. Department of Justice study. That makes sense! We know that bullying affects a child’s self-esteem. This study shows that bullying negatively impacts victims’ attendance at school, their sense of belonging, and their feelings of hope for the future. Of course, we had an unproven hunch all along. This study makes it official.
The study concludes that “victimization (bullying) can distance students from learning.” The authors recommend that “schools can overcome this negative effect if they adopt strategies that engage students in their work, creating positive learning environments that produce academic achievement.”
We agree! The Athena’s Path and Hero’s Pursuit curriculum has helped over 5000 students feel more engaged with school, teachers, and peers.
The authors suggest that schools “address the difficult transition between elementary and middle school.” We believe the transition to middle school is both an academic issue and a social and emotional challenge in a young child’s life.
“For many youth, the transition from elementary to middle school is rough. Youth report that they lost a bond with their single classroom teacher, their class sizes ballooned, the instruction became more lecture and test based and less interactive, and they spent more time in hallways and other unsupervised places. The opportunities for isolation, alienation, and disengagement increased, and any school-based havens from being bullied disappeared. The authors recommend that schools explore the possibility of facilitating this difficult transition, for example, by creating transition programs to better acclimate students to the new educational environment.”
Athena’s Path and Hero’s Pursuit directly address the transition to middle school with realistic and practical information. We don’t provide the solutions to the problems of middle school. We teach teens how to determine and implement their OWN solutions. By doing this, teens are empowered with a formula for solving problems that they can use for the rest of their life. They come up with a solution that works best for their family values and personal style and that they feel comfortable working with. And, they have the confidence to know that they can solve problems and handle difficult situations.
Athena’s Path and Hero’s Pursuit students walk into middle school with the knowledge, confidence and tools to handle the bullying, exclusion, or other social drama typical in middle school that can affect their academic achievement … and more. Please let us work with your children and schools to help bridge this gap. Join a summer camp or implement this curriculum in your schools. Contact us to talk about how we can work together: michelle@michelleinthemiddle.
Study by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
December 2011. Authors: Ken Seeley, Martin L. Tombari, Laurie J. Bennett, and Jason B. Dunkle