Empowering Students With Confidence

Easing Into Middle School
Posted on 06/07/2021
Image of Favorite Things About Middle School videoSchool can be especially challenging for students heading into middle school with trepidation and confusion. The What if Explorers (WIE) program from local non-profit TomTod aims to ease the transition.

Akron Public Schools fifth-grade students chosen from 31 elementary schools took part in the four-week program that aids in reducing students’ self-reported feelings of nervousness/confusion and increase their feelings of confidence/excitement towards starting middle school.

During the sessions facilitated by TomTod staff and our counselors, students asked questions about middle school and then explored video and in-person interviews from current APS middle schoolers and staff from their future middle schools to discover and document the answers to their questions.

The Explorers program helped students feel significantly more excited about starting middle school. The WIE spring sessions increased students' self-reported feelings of ‘excitement’ to start middle school from an average rating of 73.96% before the program to an average rating of 93.06% after the program.

Please click here to see video recordings of current APS middle schoolers giving advice to incoming students.

Please click here to see the TomTod WIE video library of APS students and staff giving advice to incoming middle school students. The Explorers program will continue with the same cohort of students in the fall of 2021 with the goal of having students explore the question, “How can we celebrate what’s awesome about being a middle schooler at my middle school (Buchtel, Hyre, Innes, Jennings, Litchfield, East)?

Please contact Dreama Whitfield at dwhitfie@apslearns.org for more information about the program.
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