More Winchester Middle Schoolers Choose Win Win
KEENE, N.H. 11/29/01 - Win Win, an enrichment and academic program developed by Keene State Colleges Early College Awareness Project (ECAP), has proven to be as good as its name for a group of middle school students in Winchester, N.H.
Win Win, first introduced as a six-week pilot project in March 00, was designed to counter the high rate of high school dropouts in Winchester, by providing middle school students with academic tutoring, recreational and social skills activities, and college and career guidance.
Now into its second year, Win Win has grown so quickly that it is in urgent need of more instructors and volunteers, says new program coordinator Hannah Hurlburt. According to Hurlburt, who took over the program this fall, about 20 students from Thayer Middle School attended Win Win sessions last year. This year, over 50 students are involved, she says.
Hurlburt and Mary Whithed, ECAPs educational coordinator, would like to hear from anyone who has a passion in life that they would like to share with the kids, says Hurlburt. We have kids who want to be artistic, who want to learn about writing poetry and singing. We have kids who want to learn outdoor skills and be outside. Instructors are paid, says Hurlburt. Win Win also needs volunteers to drive students to and from programs and on field trips.
Hurlburt attributes the increase in numbers to the students taking ownership of Win Win. The kids are really beginning to identify with the program, she says. Theyre beginning to understand what the program can do for them. According to Hurlburt, some students comments in program evaluations have indicated that Win Win is helping them realize that graduating from high school is the just the beginning of what they can accomplish. Its really exciting to know that the program is having that kind of effect on the kids, she says.
This year, Win Win also plans to collaborate with a number of local organizations to create programs that provide career and life skills, says Hurlburt. Programs already in place include a bully protection course with Womens Crisis Services in Keene, college and career preparation workshops through the N.H. Higher Education Assistance Foundation, and recreation and adventure skills development through Monadnock Family Services and the Keene Family YMCA.
Win Win is also beginning to track the progress of its students at school. The aim of this program is for these kids to graduate from high school, says Hurlburt. Besides providing a safe after-school environment, we are focusing on setting up these kids for personal and academic success.
Win Win was introduced as a six-week pilot project in March 00 and became a full-time program later that fall. The program also included four weeks of activities based at KSC last summer.
For more information about Win Win, or to find out about involvement in the program, call Hannah Hurlburt, program coordinator, at 603-358-2144.