Middle school students are learning self confidence in school, a result of the efforts of an innovative principal who has developed a program to raise self esteem, based on a successful program at the local YMCA.
"A lot of our achievement scores hadn’t changed, despite all our efforts."
Bowen realized that the problem was more than test scores. Many students had lost a parent, some due to opioid use, some due to violence, some due to illness. He realized that the students had much bigger problems than classwork.
"They were coming in under a cloud of things happening outside of school and trying to deal with that and trying to learn at the same time. It wasn’t working."
Bowen heard about a program for elementary school kids at the Greater Nashua YMCA which boosted self esteem. He worked with the YMCA and Rivier University for several years to develop a program for middle school students. The basic idea is that when kids are happy, their school achievement is greater.