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Blog: Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

The Reimer 101 Program

The idea of transitioning from elementary school to middle can be and is an anxiety filled proposition for many students, whether they are starting new as a grade 6 students or coming in as a grade 8 student for one year before making that next big leap to high school. The list of things that could go wrong seems daunting: Will I get lost? Will I know anyone? Will I like my teacher? Will the work be too hard? One of the greatest fears is: Will I be able to get my locker open? Reimer’s answer to put these fears to rest was Reimer 101. While most kids frolicked in the sunshine, played with friends, went to the lake, or participated in other summer time activities, a group of students decided to be pro-active and meet their fears head on by participating in the Reimer 101 program. They gave up two weeks of summer time fun to spend it…yes back in a school learning all about their new school, Eugene Reimer Middle.

The first week of Reimer 101 was from July 10th-14th.  This week was all about creating positive experiences within the school as well as answering some of the most burning questions. This week had a summer camp/reaction focus. Mornings were spent silent reading, followed by some short drawing or writing activities.  Then would come a series of arts, crafts and teamwork games. Some of the crafts activities included making bucket lists, spaghetti bridges, calming bottles, and slime.  Their sock puppets were used to act out middle school scenarios. Finally every afternoon would be spent outside or in the gym playing games. 

The second week was between August 28th – Sept 1st.  This week focused on transitions back into school and academics. Students continued reading and writing, but now math games and maker space inspired activities were incorporated.  Student were challenged to build catapults  to see who could launch a ping pong ball the farthest. Students also got to go on a photo scavenger hunt, got to meet some teachers, practiced changing between classes with a mock schedule. Most importantly they had lots of time to practice opening their lockers.

The transformations in these students was truly remarkable.  From shy, nervous and hiding behind their hair on the first day to becoming leaders and answering questions during the new student orientation barbeque. The change was amazing. They recognized the diversity of the group but quickly realized that they had many things in common, both in the fears they shared as well as some of the same interests. The connections they made in the two weeks of Reimer 101 has prepared them for an exciting year at Eugene Reimer Middle.

MIRJANA JURCIC
Vice Principal, Eugene Reimer Middle