The SMARTS program has changed a lot over the years. Our team has piloted the program in many different schools and with a wide range of students—sometimes with students who have learning differences such as ADHD or dyslexia, and sometimes with students who do not. Each group of students, and their teachers, taught us a lot about the importance of self-awareness when it comes to tackling challenges, both academic and beyond.
The featured project today is one of my absolute favorites! Way back in 2010, when the SMARTS program had only 14 students, the kids and I created a video project that addressed the issue of bullying in their school.
The goal was to have the kids work on a group project they were passionate about—thus increasing student engagement—while teaching them how the SMARTS executive function strategies could make their work more organized and effective. This group of 9th and 10th graders chose to focus on bullying in their school, which they saw as a major problem that needed to be addressed.
One of the really exciting things about this project was that the students took on the roles of producers and directors. We taught them how to use the film equipment, and they just ran with it! I’m really proud of these kids in this project, so while the SMARTS program has grown a lot since this video was created, I wanted to share this special project with all of you.