Letter: Proud of Students

Thirty-five Haldane sixth-grade students, along with Haldane teachers Simon Dudar and Kim McCollum, on May 18 hosted a Learning Lunch panel discussion to talk about a project called Why I am More than Just a Number.

In February, each sixth-grader was paired with a seventh-grader at a school in St. Vincent and the Grenadines during a school field visit my family and I made representing my nonprofit organization, Denniston International. Via video chat, the students spoke with each other about what is was like being a student in the U.S. versus being a student in the Eastern Caribbean.

We know the adolescent brain is ripe for risk-taking. The more positive risk-taking opportunities we give our young people, the less likely they are to seek out risk in less healthy ways. From start to finish, this project and the teachers who spear-headed it gave the sixth-graders a chance to take positive risks: meeting young people from a different culture, presenting their work in essay and art form, and speaking as part of a panel, answering questions from the superintendent and other adult guests.

I was very proud of every one of them, and proud to be a parent in a school that values learning in this way.

Danielle Pack McCarthy, Nelsonville
McCarthy is the Town of Philipstown addiction prevention and treatment coordinator.

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