Off to camp

Published 10:11 pm Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rising fifth-grader Jordan Cary is one of five Hillpoint Elementary School students attending the National Young Scholars Program next month. Jordan, who also attended the program last year, said he is most looking forward to participating in the activities in the medical discovery portion of the program this year.

Hillpoint students plan visit to leadership camp

Several rising fifth-graders at Hillpoint Elementary School have made themselves well known in the principal’s office there. But their visits to school administrators have been for all the right reasons.

Jordan Cary, Peyton Storms, Zoie Wise, Danielle Boyd and Sharonda Artis are all excellent students, but they also demonstrate potential to be great leaders, administrators said.

For those reasons, they were all nominated for and will attend the National Young Scholars Program next month.

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The program is designed for third- through fifth-graders who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and leadership capabilities.

Zoie, Sharonda and Danielle will attend a weeklong program ending Aug. 5, while Jordan and Peyton will go from Aug. 8 to 12.

The students will study one of four discovery strands that focus on certain subject areas. The strands include crime scene investigation, architecture and engineering, medicine, and a combination of all the topics.

All of the different portions of the program also will include a leadership strand, which the NYSP website calls the cornerstone of the program.

Hillpoint principal Ronald Leigh said it is always exciting to have students visit leadership camps.

“I think it’s important that our young people learn how to be leaders,” he said. “It’s not always easy to be a leader.”

Leigh said he thinks it’s important to nurture leadership skills in elementary school students, because it only gets harder for them to be leaders in middle and high school.

In order to attend the program, all of the students had to be nominated by a teacher.

All of the students were nominated by fourth-grade teacher Erdie Hutchings this year, except Jordan, who was she suggested for last year’s program.

Jordan went to the program last summer, and at the program’s completion, he was invited to attend again this year.

Katrina Cary, Jordan’s mother, said her son got so much out of the program last year, she had no hesitation to send him again.

“It helps him grow as a person and as a student,” she said. “It also gives him an opportunity to meet kids from different areas.”

Like Jordan, Peyton is very familiar with NYSP, not because he’s attended before but because his older brother, Harrison, attended last summer. Storms said Peyton is extremely focused when it comes to academics, and attending the program will show him that hard work pays off.

“Elementary aged kids really don’t have a lot of rewards for their grades, and this is a program that really looks for the kids who do really well in school and are leaders for tomorrow,” she said.

Both Petyon and Jordan are participating in the medical discovery strand, which covers the workings of the human body.

Jordan said he has wanted to try the medical portion of the program since last year.

He said he is looking forward to dissecting a cow’s heart.

In contrast to Jordan, Zoie wanted to learn a little bit about all the topics, her mother Kirsten Wise said, so she chose to take part in the program that covers everything.

Wise said while she is nervous about her daughter being away from home for a week, she is excited for Zoie to enjoy the experience.

“I think it’s just going to help her with life and just being a leader,” she said.

While Danielle is attending the program during the same week as Zoie, she will participate in the creative construction area.

“I think it’s a good exposure for her,” said Dazene Bulgin, Danielle’s mother. “She needs to get out there and see all the different things she can venture off into.”