Destination Success students prepare for sixth grade (w/video)
By BY CAROLINA ASTRAIN - CASTRAIN@VICAD.COM
July 7, 2014 at 2:07 a.m.
Updated July 8, 2014 at 2:08 a.m.
Miguel Ramos, an incoming Patti Welder Middle School student, passed his hands through the length of the American flag before making his first triangular fold.
"Don't let it touch the ground; it's the last thing you want to do with the American flag," Miguel, 11, said. "If you do, you're going to have to burn it a certain way."
The Victoria school district student was at the middle school Monday as part of a two-week transition camp coordinated by a Houston-based education agency called Destiny Consulting.
"They're getting us ready to switch from elementary school to middle school," said Miguel, who attended Aloe Elementary School last school year.
The two-week camp simulates the middle school experience for participating students, providing them with a five-period schedule and classroom instruction provided by teachers from outside and within Victoria County.
"They put you in certain periods so you get the real feel of switching between classes," Miguel said. "They've also shown us examples of the classes we'll be taking."
The Victoria school district spends $600,000 annually on the yearlong mentoring and academic services and summer transition camps Destiny Consulting provides, said Diane Boyett, VISD communications director.
"They are an extra link to our families," Boyett said. "Through the summer camps and continued services throughout the year, we're able to achieve what we try hard to do all year - a relationship with our students and their families."
Brenda Branton, a Victoria school district teacher, said she decided to join Destiny Consulting's summer camp after seeing the positive effects on students after the program's first year at VISD seven years ago.
"I wanted to learn their secret," Branton said. "Now, I know that the camp's success thrives on students knowing they are loved."
Registration for the program is open to any incoming sixth-graders and ninth-graders. Some students are nominated by a teacher during the school year, said Joanne Neal, Destiny Consulting program coordinator.
A highlight of the camp so far has been a daylong trip to the Downtown Aquarium in Houston, Miguel said.
They took 144 Victoria school district students to the downtown restaurant and aquarium last week, said Neal.
This week, they are going to the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
"We got to ride the rides and see all the fish and stingrays," Miguel said of his trip to the aquarium.
When he grows up, Miguel said he'd like to become sheriff of Victoria County.
"Seeing the opportunities for law enforcement in this area has inspired me," Miguel said.
Learning to fold the American flag provided a unique thrill, Miguel said.
"I feel like I am doing a good deed for Americans when I'm folding the flag," Miguel said. "It's about thanking the soldiers for all the things they've done for us."