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Sterling Blog: Middle Schoolers on the Move

November, the time for Thanksgiving, football, and high school seniors completing college applications. However, our eighth grade students at Sterling Middle School aren’t waiting until their senior year to think about college—they are thinking about it right now.

Last week, half the eighth grade class (the other half went this week) made the four-hour round trip to James Madison University. The students toured the huge campus, visiting the Student Success Center where college students can get help on anything from writing papers to math problems. They also had lunch along with other college students in the campus cafeteria. But the big purpose of the trip was a presentation by the admissions staff on what our students can do today to be ready to enter college.

The admissions staff went over the importance of challenging yourself at school by taking the harder courses and getting A's and B's throughout your high school career. Sure, parents and teachers tell them this all the time, but it’s different when someone working at the college tells them. The staff person also stressed the importance of quality extracurricular activities over quantity. The students were then encouraged to ask questions about how they can start getting ready for college. As an added bonus, JMU brought in three current students - including a Park View graduate - to talk to them about student life, from academics to sports, including how JMU’s football team is currently undefeated. The JMU students told them to learn good study habits now and become comfortable with talking to teachers about how they can improve in class, as that will help them when they reach college. Lastly, the kids made an important stop at the bookstore to stock up on their JMU swag.

Thank you to the faculty members and staff who made this trip possible and allowing a JMU alumnus, friendly neighborhood columnist, and proud parent of a Sterling Middle School student to come along as a chaperone.

Remember, this weekend is your last opportunity to see “Man of La Mancha” by our treasured Sterling Playmakers. Don’t miss this show and then wonder why your friends are singing “Impossible Dream” and yet you don’t know the song. Showtimes are 8 p.m. on Nov. 17 and 18, and then your absolute last shot is 2 p.m. on Nov. 19. The show is at Seneca Middle School, just across route seven. For more information, or to buy your tickets, visit http://www.sterlingplaymakers.com.

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