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Winter PALS

Beginning in mid-September and running through May, PALS offers important follow-up for these same students from the Leonard, Parthum, Oliver, and South East Lawrence Schools. At the heart of these experiences is the teaching and mentoring provided by students from Phillips Academy's Community Service Program and from Andover High School (and others), who meet with adult coordinators each Thursday afternoon to coordinate planning and practice methods of teaching for the week following. After the school day on Tuesdays, these 20-30 older students provide teaching at the Parthum site, and on Wednesday afternoons they offer enrichment activities at Phillips Academy similar to those in the summer. Recent examples include the following:

  • work in the Phillips Academy Computer Center, learning and practicing word processing skills on personal essays, at least twice each term;
  • visits to current exhibits at the Addison Gallery of American Art;
  • community service projects at the Academy Manor Nursing Home;
  • mock interviews and discussions with admission officers of Phillips Academy and other private schools. These experiences help students to become more comfortable in their self-expression whenever they talk with future employers or high school and college admission officers;
  • outdoor “Project Adventure” activities with Phillips Academy students in the Search and Rescue Program, adapted from Outward Bound; and
  • exposure to relatively unfamiliar sports; e.g. being spectators at field hockey, water polo, lacrosse, and synchronized dance/cheerleading practices.

All of this year-round support is vital as a reinforcement of the learning and motivation for the students. At the end of fall, winter, and spring terms, parents again are invited to celebrate the accomplishments of their children at the awarding of academic prizes. Nothing can take the place of positive reinforcement of student effort, motivation, and success!