Last Friday February 28 about 50 students from Glenview middle school in East Moline visited the Boys & Girls Club Teen Center in Downtown Moline.
Glenview teachers Charlene Upchurch-Taylor and Margarita Mojica started up the group One-by-One in order to help their 8th grade students see the connection between why they are in school and the bigger picture.
Too often students see school as just something they have to go to. They miss out on understanding that they are preparing for life as an adult. The more prepared/successful each student becomes with each passing year in school, the more options are opened up to him/her. One of the options may be education beyond high school in terms of college/university.
“We wanted to show our students this gem that we have in the Quad Cities and that there is a place for teenagers to go and have fun but also learn leadership skills” commented Ms Mojica.
This was the first time for many of these students visited the Teen Center that opened its doors last year.
This is part of the efforts by the Boys and girls club of Mississippi Valley to reach out to the other neighborhoods were they don’t have a presence.
“Once we opened the Moline teen center our goal was to focus on the Moline youth first and then move on to Rock Island and then East Moline and now we are at that phase where we are trying to connect with the East Moline youth” said Antonio Varela the Teen Center coordinator
The students participated in many activities from playing foosball and air hockey or learning how to dance bachata with lessons by Mr. Varela himself.
It was clear on the faces of the students that they were enjoying their time there. All the organizing parties would like to repeat this visit by East Moline students soon.
“We have seen our students are extremely motivated when they come to places like this and we can tell that they are getting what we want them to get from it.” Commented Ms Upchurch-Taylor
“We are planning to do this more often… now that we know it’s out here for our students” commented Ms Mojica
“For our young students we need to get them at this age before we loose them. The 7th or 8th grade level is when students either buy into education or we loose our students. It’s important for us to do as much we can to help our students as we send them into high school.” Ms Mojica added
One-by-One is also working closely with the Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE) to host a STEM night for their 6th-8th grade students in late April.
South Moline Township has also generously offered a charter bus to take 50 students and chaperones to Springfield to visit the Lincoln Memorial Museum. Admission & meals are included. This trip will take place in the spring.