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REACH stands for Raising Education Attainment Challenge. The REACH Program at the Cornell Public Service Center is a student initiative consisting of Team Leaders, America Reads/Counts Challenge tutors (ARCC), and volunteer tutors committed to supporting community organizations and schools serving children’s academic and social needs.

The purpose of the program is to recruit and mobilize a diverse, talented group of tutors so that they may have the necessary resources, peer support, and leadership to assist in the enhancement of academic achievement of children and youth in grades pre-K-12th.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Reflections on the First Year of a New REACH Site - Ann Martin (Odessa Montour High)

My name is Ann Martin, and I'm the team leader at Odessa Montour High School. This site was just added to REACH in the fall of this year, and I was new to REACH last semester as well, so I feel like I've been through a lot of "firsts" with the OM site: the first time I drove to OM with Ben Ortiz to meet the principal and the guidance counselors I've worked with over the last year, the first time I tutored, the first day that we had our own dedicated classroom to use after school, and the first time a new member of the team drove to Odessa with me. I can't believe how quickly the year has flown by, and I'm really excited to put the lessons of this year to use to make the program stronger and more enriching in the fall.

With this in mind, I've been spending a lot of time looking at and thinking about different enrichment activities that I can bring to Odessa Montour, which is a pretty small school (about 500 kids in middle and high school) in a very rural community about 40 minutes from Ithaca. For my contribution to the blog, I thought it might be fun to share links for some of my favorite activities that make learning about science, math, and social studies fun:


  • Mega Math at Los Alamos National Labs: A bunch of conceptual math activities, relating to ideas like, "What's an algorithm?" or "Why can all maps be colored in using just four colors?" I'm a really big fan of the Hotel Infinity, an activity used by one of my teachers back when I was in high school.

  • Activities on the Nature of Science: These activities help students uncover the "point" behind the scientific method, by applying it to situations in the real world and their own lives.

  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific: A list of cool astronomy-related activities that can be found on the web (I'm a grad student here in astronomy, so I'd be happy to help you out if you'd like to try any of these activities!)

  • Language Arts at the Educator's Reference Desk: Language Arts lesson plans/activities for a lot of different age levels.

  • Education World: Mysteries!: A bunch of activities involving solving mysteries, which blends critical thinking and language skills into one fun experience.

  • Social Studies at the Lesson Plans Page: This one's more of a mixed bag, so you have to look around to find the best stuff (or you can get ideas from the lessons that aren't very well explained), but there are some great activities covering topics like what makes a community strong and voter involvement for really little kids.


Since it's the end of the year, we're all engaged in a lot of reflection (especially at the awesome In-Service Training!) but I'm hoping this list will also help with looking forward and thinking of fun ways to engage all REACH participants with learning and fun challenges.

1 comment:

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