Program gives at risk students chance to continue their educatio - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Program gives at risk students chance to continue their education

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A District 150 program, designed to help students on the brink of being expelled is proving to be a big hit.  

School within a School Program is helping kids both in and out of the classroom. 

Lincoln Middle school students are getting a workout at Core.  But their biggest challenge yet is in the classroom inside this "school within a School. 

"Being upstairs I got a lot of family and we're all in the same class.  It's really hard to focus upstairs," said Ronaija Pickett.

"I was having problems with the teachers.  I didn't want to listen to them," said sixth grader Adrian Burnside.

Teacher Hedy Elliott-Gardner heads up District 150's School within a School Program, at Lincoln Middle.    Students are here because they have had several suspensions, excessive absences or are failing grades.

"I think the kids learn just as much as they do in a regular classroom, they have an opportunity to get some extra help cause it's a little bit smaller environment.  There's not the distraction of getting up and moving every 40 minutes and disrupting the learning," Hedy Elliott-Gardner.

Students spend most of the day in her classroom.  But she schedules field trips for them to places like this fitness and boxing club."

Even though they're getting a chance to have some fun, owner and coach John Campbell hasn't made their work easier.  According to Ronaija this is nothing compared to overcoming obstacles in the classroom.

"At first I didn't want to go cause I thought boxing was for boys but it's fun now.
SWS it's more focused  because you are not around a lot of people and the teachers teach you better down here," said Pickett.

Burnside agrees.

"I can understand the work better," he said.
Adrian says the boxing workouts is making him tougher in and out of the classroom. 

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