Regarding Concerns About the Terrific Kid Program
Tonight six parents (representing ten current or former students at BMP) met at Christmount Assembly with Mr. Frank Dees, Kiwanis President and Mr. Jamie Brame, TK Committee Chair (and Program Director at Christmount).
As a preface to the discussion, we parents expressed appreciation for all the Kiwanis Club has done for BMP and the community. We stressed to them that in sharing our concerns about the TK program, we did not want to dampen the Kiwanis Club's enthusiasm for being involved in the school and that we and Kiwanis share the common goal of wanting to make our kids (and all kids at BMP) feel good about themselves.
We also pointed out that what we wanted to do was share our experiences in hopes of persuading the Kiwanis Club that it would be worthwhile to have the TK program professionally evaluated. We also shared with them that we (through Monroe Gilmour) had talked with Mr. Green about some of the concerns and that he knew we were meeting with Kiwanis and that he had said he would be happy to cooperate with such an evaluation if one were undertaken. We stressed that the experiences/incidents/concerns that we shared with them during the meeting were not based on information from Mr. Green but from our own experiences or that of students, parents, and teachers we knew. We also shared the experiences of Principal Marty Mann at Bell Elementary and, as he said we could, gave them his telephone number in case they wanted to talk with him. Principal Mann has chosen not to implement TK at Bell for many of the same concerns we have, but he has an alternative that tries to elicit the same good feelings in kids that the TK program aims to elicit.
Likewise, President Dees and Jamie Brame assured us that they wanted what was best for the kids and that they wanted to hear everything we had to say. We went around the room with each parent sharing h/her experiences with thoughtful discussion mixed in between. We began at 7 pm and departed by 8:15 pm.
Frank and Jamie told us that they would definitely pursue the issue with the Kiwanis Board and the TK Committee, probably exploring some changes early on but aiming for an evaluation and fuller changes if so recommended by next fall at the earliest. Frank noted that there is no money locally or nationally to fund such a study, but the idea that a Master or PhD student could take on such an evaluation as a thesis was one they wanted to explore. Another alternative Frank mentioned was having local volunteers with educational backgrounds take on the study. Frank noted that the advantage of having it done through a University would be that they would have something that would have credibility when shared with Kiwanis International and other clubs.
We assured them that whatever was done, we would all be glad to assist in any way we could. All the parents felt very encouraged by Frank and Jamie's interest and concern and look forward to being supportive as Kiwanis examines the program.
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