Clubs pop up out of incentive program

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, February 17, 2018
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At the final bell on many days, Boyd Intermediate School Principal Daniel Bourgeois doesn’t see students making a mad dash to get off campus.

Instead they fill classrooms to play chess or work on arts and crafts projects in various clubs. Other clubs formed on the campus this year include Pokemon and Avengers.

“It’s been fun to see. They get together with kids with similar interests. It’s a reason for them to stay after school,” Bourgeois said. “It gets [the students] involved, and in some of the clubs, they are using skills that will help them later on.”

When a student or group of students suggests a club, Bourgeois makes the same request.

“They tell me what they want to do. I tell them to find a teacher to sponsor it,” Bourgeois said. “The teachers are jumping at the opportunity.”

The clubs that are popping up on all four Boyd campuses are a by-product of the district’s community service incentive program introduced over the summer. The district offered employees a chance to earn a $1,200 stipend by performing 15 hours of service within the district or community. The tasks had to be outside the normal scope of their jobs. The program was a way for the district to help cover rising healthcare costs.

Boyd ISD Superintendent Ted West said 151 of the district’s 167 employees opted into the program. As of last week, approximately 70 percent of the community service hours have been completed.

“There’s a ton [of employees] that have put in a lot more than the hours required,” West said.

Some of the hours have included after-school tutoring or helping with events at the campuses. But it’s the new programs that have popped up that capture the spirit of the program, according to West.

“It’s a new program. We wanted it to take a life of its own and wanted it to be something that the teachers and employees came up with,” West said. “We didn’t want to say for this program, we need people to do after-school tutoring or help at ballgames. We wanted to create new things and new opportunities for our kids. That’s the thing that’s exciting.”

The district plans to carry it on into the summer with teachers leading a program to take students on field trips around the region to museums.

“We’re talking about taking some of our younger kids to experience some things they wouldn’t otherwise,” West said.

Boyd School Board President Bill Childress expects the program to have a lasting impact in the community and praised the staff’s efforts.

“I’m really proud of the employees. They have no choice in the insurance and where they get it from,” Childress said. “When the state decides they want to raise the cost of employee insurance, there’s no alternative for these employees. They have to take it or go without insurance.

“I’m extremely proud of the program we put in place to help the employees of this district. I’m really proud of how they’ve stepped up, introduced new programs and put a little extra effort in,” he said. “They understand the spirit of the program and are working hard to meet the spirit of the program. Everyone involved benefits.”

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