Gloria Lamb is shown providing instruction during one of the South Georgia Pop Warner League Saturday CRCT Boot Camps at B.J.’s Olde Time Buffet on Dawson Road. Lamb, a teacher at Merry Acres Middle School, said the voluntary gatherings have been held all month and are helping Pop Warner participants prepare for the upcoming Criterion Referenced Competency Tests.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Students from Lee and Dougherty Counties participating in the South Georgia Pop Warner League (SWPWL) Saturday CRCT Boot Camp have recently been waking early, powering down phones, sacrificing social media, texting, and morning cartoons, all in the name of better Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) scores.
Earlier this month the local youth football organization, in partnership with PromiseED LLC., rolled out a CRCT Boot Camp pilot program.
The students consist of Pop Warner participants and nonparticipants grades 3 through 8. The goal of the CRCT Boot Camp is to sharpening study skills, identifying areas of strength and weakness, and learn test taking strategies aimed at better preparing students for CRCT.
The camps have been running the entire month and take place on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon and are held in the private room of BJ's Old Time Buffet on Dawson Road.
The Saturday 'boot camps' have been averaging between 25 and 35 participants per weekend.
"I liked the idea and thought it would be nice to shed a positive light on the CRCT for a change," Fletcher said. "When they finish camp on Saturdays, the kids get a good meal with healthy vegetables and they love it."
The curriculum is supervised and presented by Merry Acres Middle School teacher Gloria Lamb, a 17-year educator and literacy advocate. she has a Doctorate in Education Curriculum Leadership, a Masters Degree in Special Education, and is qualified to teach Special Education K-12, Endorsed in Reading Intervention & Gifted Education, and certified to teach all General Education classes Grades K-8.
"The CRCT testing period is normally a very stressful time for students and parents," Lamb said. "Not all of the instruction is academic, but much of it also includes test-taking strategies and how to prepare for the test. Some students who do well in school fear taking tests like this. We're giving them tools they need to lessen stress and build confidence.
"We're helped the students identify their learning styles; kinesthetic, tactual, auditory, or visual. This will help them with study strategies."
Teachers, South Georgia Pop Warner coaches, and other volunteers are helping students learn to break down questions, better analyze answer options, and maintain focus while navigating through the testing process.
ESP (Exceptional Student Program) students receive one on one help and additional guidance, Lamb said.
Daniel Cruz, a coach with the SGPWL, said the league, which is comprised of more than 500 players and cheerleaders in Dougherty and Lee counties, has academic requirements for participants to maintain eligibility.
"Programs like this are great for the kids," Cruz said. "It helps them academically and it builds camaraderie and diversity. We really appreciate the assistance from the community. It shows they care for our kids."