Cooperation: The Key to Adventure and Success

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The district hosted a six-week summer learning program for high school students who will be entering grades 9-12 this September.
    
The program was held Mondays through Thursdays for two periods, two hours each. Students had the opportunity to take courses in algebra and algebra 2, geometry, trigonometry, earth science, living environment, chemistry, global studies, U.S. history, participation in government/economics, English 9 through 12, physical education and resource room. A new feature this year was the addition of an English as a New Language teacher to support bilingual attendees.
    
One highlight of the program incorporated a miniature component of Project Adventure, a nonprofit organization that provides experiential learning opportunities designed to inspire positive transformations and lasting growth. Each student was able to participate twice over the course of the six weeks, building skills in confidence, leadership, teamwork and self-awareness through various activities.
    
“As the new principal of the program, I felt it was a priority to address not only the academic needs of the students, but the social and emotional needs as well,” said district K-12 Math and Science Director Joseph Cangemi.
    
Groups of students took on a number of challenges, such as spelling out a word with their bodies, moving across the gymnasium without touching the floor, transferring a ball through multiple poles, balancing on a board and relying on peers to walk across the gymnasium with eyes shut. Cooperation and collaboration were at the heart of all activities.
    
“Throughout life, you have to cooperate with people you know and don’t know,” West Hempstead High School physical education teacher Rob Gerwitz told the students. “If you have an understanding of how to work well with others, you’ll be better off in the world.”