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Challenger Middle School offers alternative learning to help 8th graders with social skills

Principal Holt says students prefer to text each other instead of talking
8th grade students at Challenger Middle School work on alternative forms of learning
Posted at 6:47 PM, Sep 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-06 22:07:24-04

COLORADO SPRINGS  — On Tuesday, 8th graders at Challenger Middle School got to get out of the classroom and work on some trust-building and team-building activities to help them improve their social skills.

Principal Debbie Holt says that the Pandemic learning not only impacted test scores for some students, but many of them lost out on the chance to build their conversation skills and make new friends.

It's especially important for this class of 213 8th graders. "This is the group of students that missed out on 6th grade," says Holt.

Teachers first noticed the difference that these students had one year ago.

"So first we noticed that kids were more comfortable texting when they were sitting across the table from each other, even. And their comments were 'but Miss Holt, it's so much easier to hide behind a screen," says Holt.

Teachers and administrators trained with an adventure group out of UCCS to give students various team-building activities that will help them grow.

Blake Maestas is an eighth-grade student that said he had some struggles with online learning.

"They were kind of tough. It's a little bit harder when you're online and you get distracted by your phone and stuff," says Maestas.

He says that being back in school has helped his social life and his confidence.

"It's really good to meet new people," said Maestas."Fake it till you make it".

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