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Local partnerships help Greer students grow amid campus construction

Students practicing their DJ skills While Greer Elementary School goes through a complete renovation, staff members have looked for new ways to utilize portions of campus that have been affected by construction-- the most notable being Greer’s play area, which was downsized by nearly 75 percent.

The school has looked to find partners with local organizations to keep students productive during lunch, which is when their play area usually gets the most use. Greer has procured partners with a variety of different businesses and groups that will increase excitement about learning.

Junior Achievement-- who aims to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the 21st century-- has brought a number of different business mentors from the Sacramento region to discuss making and saving money, choosing a career and good citizenship with Greer students.

Students practicing their graffiti art Square Root Academy-- Sacramento’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)-based nonprofit-- works with Greer students weekly to teach STEM fundamentals, collaborative learning and encourage academic excellence.

Capital Therapy Dogs brings trained volunteers and their canines to Greer lunches twice per month to encourage reluctant readers to practice their fluency. Students are able to sit down with the dogs and read their favorite book.

Greer’s newest partnership is with Encina Preparatory High School’s mentor program-- where approximately 20 Encina students visit Greer during the lunch period on Thursday to tutor and play games with younger students.

Perhaps the students’ favorite partner is with DJ Mic B of Cypher Hip Hop Workshops. He and his team visit Greer each Friday to help students write and record their own raps, dance and practice their public speaking skills during rap “battles.” These activities aim to help students understand how to set and accomplish goals, build positive decision-making skills and recognize their self-worth.
“I like to rap with DJ Mic,” said second grader Kapera Celoneyk. “You can make a lot of money from rapping.”

Greer’s vice principal, Kate Hazarian, along with teachers at the school, are seeing a big difference in the excitement level of their students and are even noticing an increase in attendance.

“We’re trying to have a variety of different partnerships so that every child can find something to be excited about coming to school for,” said Hazarian.