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Over 100 students at Sligh Middle Magnet School’s Cougar Academy are spending their summer supplementing academic skills with hands-on STEM activities.

The Sligh Middle Magnet Cougar Academy

June 26, 2017 - Points of Pride

Students in Sligh Middle School’s Cougar Academy  have been pleasantly surprised by just how much fun they are having this summer.  They chose to attend for many different reasons, but have found an enjoyable way to keep the summer learning loss at bay.  From Robotics to Leadership Skills to designing business cards and personal logos, there is a little something for every learning style and every personality.

The culture of Sligh – and particularly the Cougar Academy – is evident from hour one to dismissal time.  These students are being encouraged and celebrated by the staff, and they are blooming like the wildflowers in Sligh’s courtyard this month.  Bright, confident, and willing to stick their necks out and take a chance on trying something new and different, the Academy students are growing personally and academically.

Stephanie, a rising 8th grader, already thinks of herself as a leader, but she said that, “I want to be known as a leader and to learn how to help my school.”  Stephanie’s robotics partner, Elias (Eli), didn’t want to just “stay at home this summer.”  He was eager to learn about programming robots, but the former Lockhart ES student also wanted to overcome his shyness.  The Leadership classes are doing just that for Eli.  He is learning how to shake hands firmly and look people in the eye, and each day must give a 30-second speech in front of the teacher and class, which is also enhancing his self-confidence.

Ashlynn, who will be in 7th grade this year, said she wants to “live life more advanced by doing things smarter and faster but still doing them with quality.”  She felt that this summer program would help her keep sharp and learn new technology.  Jada, who attended Dunbar ES, usually doesn’t do much in the summer, but decided that she wanted to “open up my mind and learn some new things in science.”

Denise Durham, the District’s Assistant Department Manager for School Improvement and manager of the grant that is funding the Academy, has kept a watchful eye on the Sligh students this summer.  She can’t say enough positive things about the staff at Sligh.  “They are here for the kids, and you can see the effect that they are having on the overall culture of the campus in general, and the way the Academy students are responding to the support they are receiving.”  The Cougar Academy ensures that each child is provided the opportunity to thrive and be prepared for the stages that follow. 

Sligh Middle Magnet’s Cougar Academy is proving to be a great place for students to spend their summer.  They are learning, growing, and maturing, and best of all, enjoying their experience!  For more information about this summer program, please contact Denise Durham at 813.272.4952. 

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