2018-06-21 / News

C.K. Burns students learn about real life issues

By Abigail Worthing
Staff Writer


Members of the fifth-grade Extended Academics program at CK Burns gave presentations recently at the Saco School Board. From left, Bella Robinson, Casey Moore, Christina Hittle, Polina Rempel, Addison Litchfield, Maya Dukhey, Jackson Deleo, Gianna Stone, Eleanore Dube, Evan Turnidge, April Price, Evan Hill, Gianna Palleschi, Logan Price and Laila Suey. (Courtesy photo) Members of the fifth-grade Extended Academics program at CK Burns gave presentations recently at the Saco School Board. From left, Bella Robinson, Casey Moore, Christina Hittle, Polina Rempel, Addison Litchfield, Maya Dukhey, Jackson Deleo, Gianna Stone, Eleanore Dube, Evan Turnidge, April Price, Evan Hill, Gianna Palleschi, Logan Price and Laila Suey. (Courtesy photo) SACO – Extended Academics – an interdisciplinary class offered at CK Burns School– allows students to not only learn in a guided freedom unavailable in most classrooms, but to present their knowledge in new and creative ways.

Parents of fourth- and fifth-grade students were invited to see these student presentations at a June 13 school board meeting at city hall. Students in the fourth grade offered presentations about water, from the cycle of water to how water affects everyday life, to how water scarcity affects Third World countries. Students created graphs, charts and models, and gave detailed and informative speeches.

Fifth-grade students spoke about the human experience, from existence to evolution, to adaptation and beyond. The students wrote skits that demonstrated racial, gender and social inequalities within society with gravitas. According to Charu Saxena, Extended Academics teacher at CK Burns, this year the students were able to learn about subjects that interested them in a safe atmosphere, with Saxena guiding research and topics to ensure that what the students learned was “appropriate for their age level while creating empathy in their minds for the topic.”

Saxena has been with CK Burns for three years and meets with students two days a week for this interdisciplinary class. It is the third year the class presented findings to the school board.

Fifth grade students this year also learned about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the controversial immigration policy that allows those brought into the United States as children to receive a two-year deferment from deportation, and wrote letters to government leaders explaining their thoughts on the subject.

“Everything they write is their own opinion. I’m very careful to stay objective,” Saxena said. “I think of myself as a facilitator. These students blew me away constantly.”

Contact Staff Writer Abigail Worthing at news@inthecourier.com.

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