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Teachers propose new studies program

April 29, 2014

Rachel Scott and Paige Laurain, first-year teachers at West Charlotte High School, say they've learned from their students about what doesn't work in motivating teens to take their education seriously.

From those lessons, they've put together a proposal that they outlined today at the Forum.

They propose to take 40 at-risk students through their studies of English (Scott) and math (Laurain) via the theme of a single country. They've already chosen the students for this fall, and asked them what country they wanted to focus on. The answer: South Africa.

The capstone of the year's coursework, the organizing theme for the year, and of course an incentive for learning, would be the trip to South Africa.

Scott and Laurain have much to do, not the least of which is to raise $200,000. But as they explained at the Forum, that task is not theirs alone. The students' efforts in terms of bake sales, fund-raisers, advocacy and other tasks will also be used to teach the English and math skills appropriate for the students. The teachers said they will have a Plan B if the trip to South Africa remains out of reach financially.

Below are videos of the teachers' presentation and the Q&A that followed.

A two-page PDF of their initial proposal for the GPS program is here.