If you’ve been following along on any of our social media accounts, you have probably seen an increase in content related to our Social Innovators Academy, and that is because we have been busy doing a lot more Social Innovators Academy (SIA) programming!
We are very excited to be piloting in-school, embedded, SIA programs at two area high schools.
We kicked off the semester with Milton High School, starting a SIA program for the Talented And Gifted (T.A.G.) thanks to the help of Renee Denney, the T.A.G. Coordinator. A few weeks into the semester we were presented with the opportunity to start a program at Northview High School in Johns Creek as well, thanks to Michael Martin, the T.A.G. Coordinator.
Our current SIA programming runs on a 10-month, school year schedule, meeting approximately once a month and covering one topic at a time, with a few group service days and one-on-one meetings sprinkled throughout. Now, with the opportunity to meet with students within a school on a weekly basis, we have the opportunity to restructure our program and cover an entire year’s worth of content in one semester. Once a week, on Tuesdays at Milton and on Thursdays at Northview, the students meet in a classroom instead of the cafeteria to experience SIA as a “lunch and learn” type program.
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
The schedule and speed of our school-based Social Innovators Academy is faster, but we still value the same level of expertise and support as our 10-month program. We still bring in industry experts to share about a variety of topics, which helps equip our students to become social entrepreneurs.
As the students eat and settle in, a GivingPoint team member helps the group review the topic that we covered in the previous week. We understand that these students are already bombarded by information for classes, extracurriculars, college prep, etc. This is why we take some time weekly to review what we have learned by this point, and to make sure everyone is prepared for the day.
Then, we introduce the presenter. We are lucky to have an incredible base of presenters, from tech CEOs to self-made entrepreneurs to local businesspeople and more. To read more about the presenter experience, you can click here. The presenter often has a PowerPoint presentation, but sometimes simply engages and talks through the topic with the students, either from memory or based on a handout.
Most days end with an activity of sorts, to reinforce the information that has just been covered. There is always time for questions, about the topic and for the presenter, and then additionally specific questions for GivingPoint staff or T.A.G. teachers that students may have about their projects.
Every few weeks, instead of an instructional presentation, we spend the class period doing one-on-ones, where we meet individually with students to go over the progress they are making and answer any outstanding questions. This time proves invaluable for filling in knowledge gaps or helping students find the next step they should be working towards.
At the core, the SIA program is the same, no matter the time frame. The goal is always to implement a social impact project or launch a nonprofit or educational campaign. Providing the information from our workshops is helpful to the students, but we know that it is the personal passion of the student that propels them to success.
We can’t wait to see what great things our students will achieve over the course of the semester, and to see how this school-based programming can grow over the next school year.
If you have any questions about school-based programming or are interested in starting a program in your school, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to Milton and Northview for taking a chance on us and our new form of programming, and for all the students and presenters who have made this possible. We are so grateful we get to work with such world-changers!