Co-Curricular Week: Successful or Restful?

The week of October 3rd marked Branson’s first co-curricular week. It was three full days dedicated to all aspects of wellness education. Although the days were different for each Branson class, students participated in a variety of community engagement activities, listened to several distinguished speakers, learned about physical wellness with Branson’s Athletics Department, and engaged in class bonding activities. To allow students to focus on the activities and lessons, no homework was assigned over the week. This week produced a central question: did students participate in the events in the spirit of co-curricular week or did the loose structure encourage students to relax without absorbing the core messages?

Co-Curricular 2Katie Koestner (left) and Cindy Pierce were a few of the speakers who presented to the students. https://twitter.com/katiekoestner http://www.norwichbookstore.com/event/cindy-pierce-sexploitation

A few Branson students offered their perspectives on co-curricular week. Overall, most of them said that they enjoyed the week and learned valuable lessons but admitted that they felt less compelled to engage in the material than they would have during a traditional school week.

One Branson student thought that “it had the potential to be very educational, but the structure of the week made it seem like more of a break.” An anonymous sophomore thought that “the week was both educational and a break from classes because we didn’t have homework, but we did learn from the speakers. By the end of the day, I felt kind of enlightened.”

The students spoke particularly highly of the community engagement days, as these provided the most hands-on and active opportunities for learning. While it is often difficult to enthrall students during an hour or two-hour lecture, most of the students claimed to be engaged throughout the speeches, the selected speakers providing fresh, interesting material. One student offered that “some of the speakers were really strong, but some were less interesting.”

Although the week may not have provided the students with its entire intended purpose, one Branson student adamantly claimed that they “definitely want co-curricular week next year.”

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