Patty's Story

Patty is a middle school teacher in Washington County. For a long time, the education community was focusing so much on the education of middle school learners that the overall emotional needs of the student were getting lost. In today's day and age, how a student feels and develops affects a child's academic skills and ability to graduate high school. Patty, along with other community leaders and organizations, knew that this challenge needed to be addressed.

Through these concerns grew a collaborative called Common VIEW. This effort is funded by United Way of Washington County and provides at-risk middle school students with the resources they need to succeed. This collaborative has provided the opportunity for a mindset change to occur within both district's teachers, students, and leaders.

Patty has seen a change not just in her classroom but in the entire community. Uncomfortable conversations are being addressed, ideas are being shared and actions are being taken all across the board. Student organizations are shifting their focus as well to meeting the social-emotional needs more. Classrooms are sharing experiences and adapting based on student interactions. Teaching approaches are changing as well.

Today, Patty's middle school students utilize desk cycles during class. These are small pedal stands underneath that sit underneath the students' desks. She utilizes them during class as well as study hall time to both refocus during instruction and then redirect excess energy in order to curb those non-productive behaviors she used to see. She has even seen a decrease in anxiety from students since offering this option.

This is one example of how integrating more wrap-around services has helped these children. Because of your support, Common VIEW is working to ensure these children have both the academic and life skills needed to be a productive member of our society. Together, we are able to provide these school districts and communities the resources to meet the many challenges of educating middle school aged children both academically and emotionally. We hope you'll join us as we continue to provide support to other students like these across Washington County.