EUGENE THRIVING IN HIGH SCHOOL AFTER FIVE YEARS AT CHILDREN’S GUILD
Eugene came to the Prince George’s campus of The Children’s Guild when he was in third grade. He was very aggressive, always fighting with his classmates. He demonstrated a high level of anxiety and had the irrational perception that everyone was out to get him and blaming him for everything. He did not trust anyone. Academically, his grades were poor, below grade level.
He was placed in small classes and occasionally worked with staff on a one-on-one basis, developing a strong relationship with his teachers. During those first few years, we saw his grades and behavior improve. He truly thrived in the small class setting and started to enjoy his classes. He also reacted very well to structured routines that were built around blocks of work time and break time. By teaching academics in 20-minute time periods and then having a 10-minute break, Eugene was really able to focus on his academics.
Eugene became involved in activities at school that gave him new ways to express his emotions. Art therapy allowed him to put his feelings down on paper. Art was often an easier way for him to express himself than using words. He became a star of the basketball and football teams in middle schools and this too helped to build his self esteem.
The staff worked hard to redirect Eugene’s aggressive behavior. He came to know and trust staff, and, when in crisis, he would ask to see a specific staff member. Staff worked with Eugene to use his words rather than his fists.
Last year, Eugene graduated from The Children’s Guild and interviewed at several high schools before choosing Bishop McNamara High School, a Catholic high school. He stays in touch with the staff at The Guild and his mom, who is a teacher, cannot thank The Guild enough for what they did for her son. Today, at Bishop McNamara, Eugene is having no behavioral problems or issues at school; he is doing very well in this academic classes and is playing on the JV football team as a ninth-grader.