A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Prisoners of Time - Schools and Programs Making Time Work - September 1994

Brooks Global Studies Extended Year Magnet

Greensboro, North Carolina

Many colors, one rainbow; many cultures, one family.

The Brooks Global Studies Extended Year Magnet is the only school in the Guilford County school system without a specific attendance zone. Parents and students from throughout the system may choose to attend Brooks -- and more of them are choosing it. Opening in 1991 with 80 students, more than 300 students enrolled at the start of the 1993 school year, and more remained on a waiting list.

Three distinctive features make Brooks stand out:

Preliminary investigations by two psychologists from Loyola University of Chicago provide encouraging evidence that the longer instructional year pays off. Children receive an additional six weeks of instruction, with breaks provided periodically throughout the year and the school closed for two weeks during the summer. Field trips, guest speakers, and weekly foreign language instruction are emphasized during the program.

According to Loyola researchers Julie Frazier and Frederick Morrison:

Although these findings are encouraging, it is difficult to disentangle them from the school's unique curriculum which emphasizes, in the words of school principal Tony Meachum, that "just as many colors make one rainbow, many cultures make one national family."

School officials believe that rapid improvements in technology and communications make learning about the world and human cultures essential for today's young people.

The global studies program emphasizes the five major geography themes developed by the National Geographic Society: location (exactly where on the earth's surface places are found); place (the physical and human characteristics of specific places that set them apart from others); relationships within places (how humans interact with their environment, for both good and bad); movement (how people, products, information, and ideas within and among countries change); and regions (how regions form and develop).

Brooks officials stress that their after-school programs are not merely custodial care. After-School Enrichment Services (ACES) are available for a fee to interested parents and offer an impressive structured balance of academic, physical education, and recreation programs. Academic work includes homework time, work on basic skills, curriculum-related games, critical thinking skills, and silent reading time. The remainder of the time is devoted to physical education, games and other recreational activities such as movies, arts, crafts, and music.

For additional information:
Tony Meachum
Principal
Brooks Global Studies Extended Year Magnet
1215 Westover Terrace
Greensboro, NC 27408
(910) 370-8228


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