What’s Right With Our Schools: Bibb County students showcase talents through REACH program

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BIBB COUNTY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As children grow up, many of them start to wonder what their future would be like.

Bibb County Schools are helping them explore their curiosities and identify what exactly makes them special.

“Teachers in the regular classroom observe students carefully and look for ten traits or we call them tabs–traits,attitudes and behaviors of gifted students,”
says Jennifer McMahon who is a gifted teacher at Alexander II.

Some of those characteristics include inquiry,curiosity and creativity. Once students are identified they are tested for the REACH program.

REACH stands for “Reaching Excellence in Academic and Creative Horizons. This gifted program gives students a chance at an early age to focus on their future goals and tackle challenges.

Elementary Coordinator, Olena Stadnik-Floore says, “We might have a child in first grade who is very interested in engineering and you can find that out and we develop that so through all of the levels of education if that interest doesn’t change by the time he graduates 12th grade that passion is still there.”

The program also prepares students to become problem solvers and shows them how to approach situations in every day life.

Fourth grader Zaris Odoms says, “One of our learning targets is to think critically and we do that everyday.”

“We do a lot of research in class and we have a curiosity project every year and we use a lot of technology like our computers, ipads,” fourth grader Abby Edwards adds.

In addition, students do hands on equations in math. The challenges are what keep students motivated to learn.

Edwards says, I like challenges so this is a really good place for me to go every week.”

“It just challenges them and challenges them until they are blossomed into the critical thinkers that they can possibly be,” Floore explains.

Alexander II gifted students recently took a trip to Michael Carlos Museum in Atlanta, where students were able to look at artifacts and exhibits they studied about in the classroom.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 303 Karlisha Booze joined the 41NBC news team in October 2013 as the producer for 41 TODAY. A year later, reporting for Channel 17, the Bibb County School District channel, was added to her responsibilities. Born and raised in Macon, Karlisha is proud to be in her hometown doing what she loves to do. Karlisha's passion for news began in elementary school where she anchored the school's morning news and got an opportunity to try out for the Junior Journalists at WMAZ. She also performed in commercials with Kids Voting Georgia, for Bibb County and Cox Communications. Prior to working at 41NBC, she was a news intern at WGXA and was later hired as a production assistant and worked as a fill-in anchor/producer for the station's morning news broadcast. Karlisha graduated from Middle Georgia College in 2009 with an Associate of Arts (Communications), from Fort Valley State University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts (Mass Communications), and from Ashford University in 2014 with a Master of Arts (Organizational Management). She is currently pursuing a Doctorate focusing on Business Administration. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and spending time with family and friends, especially her son, Ka'Dence. If you have any story ideas, please pass them along!