Yes, you read that right. Poop.
Poop is what inspires this installment of one club member from Fort Collins achieving Academic Success. This gross and taboo word has everything to do with how Charles, Academic Program Specialist, from the Fort Collins Club was able to get one of the least academically-enthused Members to come in and start doing his homework during Power Hour.
At the Fort Collins Club, the major focus within the Academic Success Outcome is participation in Power Hour. An overwhelming majority of the parents have expressed enthusiasm for the Power Hour program and getting Members to do their homework. Charles commented that it warms his heart greatly to see the kids that consistently come in to get work done. However, we all know that it's the kids that DON'T do their work that really need attention. That, indeed, is where we earn our money. The trick to helping those members that don’t want to do their work is finding the one thing that flips the switch for each individual. For some, it's the recognition and prizes provided for Power Hour attendance. For others, it's a phone call to home or school. For Amadeo Lopez, it was poop.
Located in Charles’s room is a book titled, "The Truth About Poop,” by Susan G. Goodman. One day, the fearless Fort Collins Club leader, Brian, thought it would be hilarious to display the book in Charles's window for everyone to see. Well, one day, Amadeo saw the book, and of course, he wanted to read it. Charles had hoped it would trigger a desire for him to come into the Learning Lab more often. And what do you know, that's exactly what happened. He came into the room many, many times just to read that book (did we mention the cover art is of an elephant on the toilet doing his business?).
In regards to Power Hour, Amadeo's parents had signed him and his sister up several months ago. However, getting Amadeo to come in and work was an enormous task. This book--this freakin' book--is what greased the wheels and showed him that the Learning Lab is a fun place where he can get his homework done (and, yes, read about poop). Granted, this was a slow transition; Charles may have had to chase Amadeo down a few times. But, once he started agreeing to come in, it became easier. He won Academic Success Youth of the Week for his efforts. And now, he's coming in ON HIS OWN to do his reading (and not just the poop book!). He's reading his required 20 pages per day. The books aren't always at his level, and there are still times where he "doesn't have homework,” but it's great progress for someone who flat out refused to come in a few months prior. With some kids, it's just a slow build, and that's okay. Being able to provide opportunity for Amadeo is great, but more importantly, he's growing as a human being.
Soon enough, Charles will be able to say that #2 is what helped Amadeo make education his #1.