Highlights from B.E.S.T. Summer Scholars 2015


July 30, 2015

Highlights from B.E.S.T. Summer Scholars 2015

Last week, 28 newly enrolled B.E.S.T. 5th – 9th grade students completed our annual Summer Scholars Program. These bright students spent five weeks preparing for their independent school journey that will commence later this month. Summer Scholars is a transition program that reflects the experience of an independent school. The core subjects taught during the program are Math, Writing, Technology, Reading, Social Studies, Science, and Athletics. During athletics, Ronald Carney of the Next One Up Foundation taught the students the rules of basketball and lacrosse. As a surprise at the start of the program, each student received a lacrosse stick and a pair of goggles from STX. A Transitions class was taught by Summer Scholars Director, Elisha James, and was designed to help prepare students for their transition to an independent school.  Additionally, each student was assigned to a Summer Scholars faculty member who served as their advisor.

A new component to this year’s program was a four session art project. The students spent time learning about Pop artist Andy Warhol and then creating a “pop art” inspired self-portrait.  The art sessions were led by Antoinette Hawkins, who gave our students the opportunity to create a meaningful piece of art that depicted their self-perception and feelings.

Again this year, students went on field trips to Camp Hippodrome and Outward Bound. At the Hippodrome, students participated in four stations which included face painting, dance & theater, singing & vocal training, and improv & theater games. During their Outward Bound trip, students learned about team building, pushing their personal limits, effective communication and leadership. A highlight was climbing to the top of a 25 foot pole with the support and encouragement of their fellow students.

Midway through the program, currently enrolled B.E.S.T. 9th graders were invited to join their Summer Scholar peers for a day of workshops. The morning workshop “Transitioning from Middle School to Upper School,” led by Marlo McNeil, Director of Diversity at Roland Park Country School, featured 30 minutes of the documentary Prep School Negro and was followed by a silent reflection exercise. The afternoon workshop, “Starting the College Conversation,” led by Roland Park Country School College Counseling Staff, Sally Diehl, Director of College Counseling, and Megan O’Brien, College Counseling Coordinator, consisted of three activities which helped the students to focus on what they need to do in high school in order to prepare for the competitive college application process.

The 2015 Summer Scholars program was filled with rigorous academic work, fun extracurricular activities and important lessons as students prepared for the next stage of their educational journey. B.E.S.T. would like to thank SunTrust Foundation, The Thomas Wilson Sanitarium for Children of Baltimore City, STX, the Next One Up Foundation, Camp Hippodrome, Outward Bound, the Summer Scholars faculty, and Roland Park Country School for their generous support of this very important program.

B.E.S.T. Summer Scholars in front of the Hippodrome Theatre during their field trip to Camp Hippodrome

B.E.S.T. Summer Scholars in front of the Hippodrome Theatre during their field trip to Camp Hippodrome

Student Self Portraits Photo Credit: Antoinette Hawkins

Outward Bound Team Building Activity

Outward Bound Team Building Activity

B.E.S.T. Students at the "Starting the College Conversation" Workshop

B.E.S.T. Students at the “Starting the College Conversation” Workshop

Happy B.E.S.T. Summer Scholars at the Summer Scholars Closing Ceremony

Happy B.E.S.T. Summer Scholars at the Summer Scholars Closing Ceremony