By: Isabella Garcia-Ding
Class of 2019
The week of July 18th – July 22nd, Roberto Clemente High School teachers, staff, and students organized a Freshman Connection Program where 60 of our incoming 9th graders attended. The Freshman Connection program is designed to allow the incoming students an opportunity to be able to socialize with one another and meet some of their teachers before the beginning of the school year. It is a great way for the students to be able to have some friends on the first day of school and begin to understand the expectations of their school. I think it was a great week for the freshman’s because they were able to go on a free trip around downtown while having a high school experience with their classmates of the Class of 2020.
On Tuesday, the students and a couple of sophomores including, myself, went downtown to The Art Institute of Chicago for the whole day. The students traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago via the CTA and they got to explore the multiple art exhibits and go to Millennium Park. On other days, when we weren’t out of the school, the students did activities such as life size tic-tac-toe, community and school-based scavenger hunts, and socializing games that allowed the students to work on their team building skills. The students loved to play the scavenger hunt game on the last day because the sophomores that helped out with Freshman Connection planned it so that students could explore the whole building, socialize, and have some fun. The incoming freshman had fun because they got to explore the school while trying to find clues around the building. Once everyone was able to finish they got to enjoy a catered pizza lunch provided by the Clemente Administrative Team.
The week was a great way for the students to get out and be actively involved in activities and not be on the streets. They were given the opportunity to learn about Roberto Clemente Community Academy and its many programs. Clemente is a great school because we are an IB World School that provides all of its students the opportunity to come in during the summer and participate in such programming like Freshman Connection, Summer Camp with the Boys and Girls Club, TOK Boot Camp, and summer athletics programs. The incoming freshman were able to see how the big gym at our school is open to the students at Clemente so that they can be practicing sports, exercising, and just having fun. Our school is able to allow the big gym to be open to the students because the school and it’s Administrative Team care about their students and want to make sure that when school ends their students have somewhere safe to be and can also be active. Our incoming 9th graders learned a lot about what they have in front of them next year while the sophomore students who helped to lead the program learned about leadership, mentorship, and got the chance to apply the IB Learner Profile traits they learned about all year!