Rise & Shine students show they’re ready to learn at Perry Elementary
By Emily McFarlan Miller firstname.lastname@example.org @emmillerwrites October 3, 2013 4:06PM
Emmanuel Rivera giggles as he describes a day in the life of a Rise & Shine student at Rise & Shine Recognition Night at Perry Elementary School in Carpentersville. | Emily McFarlan Miller / Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 5, 2013 6:22AM
CARPENTERSVILLE — More than a dozen students at Perry Elementary School crossed their arms across their chests at the front of the school lunchroom, demonstrating what it looks like to have a calm body.
They pressed their fingers to their lips to demonstrate quiet voices. They cupped their hands around their ears to show listening ears and around their eyes to show watching eyes.
That’s what it looks like to be ready to learn, the goal of a new program this year at Perry called Rise & Shine.
Those students proudly showcased for their families and school staff what they’ve been doing in the first six weeks of Rise & Shine Wednesday night at Rise & Shine Recognition Night.
Rise & Shine is an original program developed by the school to support, enrich and prepare Perry students in grades one to four before they enter the classroom to be “ready to learn,” the program’s tag line. It combines exercise, social-emotional skills and team-building, according to the program brochure.
“We learn about some art and we learn how to be respectful,” said fourth-grader Emmanuel Rivera, 9.
Students were selected for the program based on teacher recommendation and data showing which students could use additional social-emotional support, according to Perry Principal Kristin Sainsbury.
Rise & Shine starts an hour before the regular school day, when the school bus brings about 30 students enrolled in the program to the building early to get some physical activity, then attend lessons that support their social-emotional goals, the brochure said. Those goals include problem solving, respectful behaviors, self confidence and emotion regulation, it said.
“If you’re used to the same behaviors, that’s what you’ll do. Once we show them a different way, they’re going to soar. That’s what they’re doing now,” program coordinator Debra McCloyn said.
McCloyn also meets with Rise & Shine students for about 45 minutes during the school day to reinforce those behaviors, she said.
And on Tuesdays, they meet with volunteer art therapist Cindy Brogan of Sleepy Hollow. They’ve made posters illustrating what it means to be ready to learn, on display Wednesday night. This week, they worked on mosaics, Brogan said.
“It’s cool to see how far they’ve come with this. They come in happy. They’re learning to share and respect everybody else. It’s so cool to see the difference,” she said.
Emmanuel and his cousins Noah Parker, 6, and Zion Moss, 7, agreed they all like Rise & Shine. Emmauel said his favorite part is art.
Noah added, “I like the cupcakes.”
Students can graduate from the program after meeting all their social-emotional goals, according to Community Unit School District 300. They then will have the opportunity to mentor others, it said.