A special summer program is preparing students for ninth grade with W.I.N.N.I.N.G., or “What I Need Now In Ninth Grade.” The social-emotional camp in Peoria enhances students’ chance of graduating, and making a good adjustment to high school.

Student Art Illustrating Historical The program teaches skills to a select group of ninth graders in such as such as self-control, self-awareness, empathy and persistence, the basics of social-emotional learning.

“If they get academics, it’s by accident,” jokes Sheila Stewart,  middle school guidance counselor. She is site supervisor for the summer program at Peoria High School.

The camp is open to just 35 students recommended by school principals. Parents were required to attend orientation, and students will have a mentor by the end of camp.

Students will be tracked by district officials through high school and even beyond.

“Our goal is for 100 percent of these students to be on track to graduate by the end of their freshman year and for 100 percent to graduate,” says Derrick Booth, the district’s director of social and emotional learning.

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