GLEN ALLEN, Va., March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- It's not every day that a middle school student spearheads a major school curriculum initiative. Yet that's exactly what happened when a sixth-grader at Wetsel Middle School in Madison, Va., compiled a petition of 250 student signatures and asked the school board to adopt a study skills program currently used in 1500 schools nationwide and 14 countries with a 98.9 percent success rate.
That sixth-grader is Timothy Decatur-Luker, who happens to be his school's youngest student council association president ever and an A+ student with Asperger's syndrome. Also a busy student athlete, Timothy recognized a need for himself as well as among his classmates for a program that would help them organize time and study smarter. He found a study skills program through a Google search and felt it matched his classmates' needs.
The program is SOAR Study Skills, which simplifies study habits to make learning easier. Authored by Susan Kruger, M.Ed., SOAR is a leading resource for all learners seeking effective, stress-free study habits.When Timothy delivered his request for the study skills program to the school board, the board responded enthusiastically in favor of the request but had to table it because of the district's strapped budget. That did not stop Timothy. He wrote to Kruger for support when he met the funding roadblock. "Timothy sent me a very professional email outlining his own personal accomplishments, in spite of learning challenges, and asked me how he could get this program into his school," Kruger stated. "His tenacity has driven this initiative, and I was happy to network for him in the hopes of securing a sponsor." Kruger put out a call for a community sponsor of the study skills initiative. Taradel, LLC, a Glen Allen, Va.-based printing company, answered that call. "We're excited to support this student-driven initiative," commented Jim Fitzgerald, Taradel's president and CEO. "When children are asking to learn, and independently finding solutions to make that happen, the clear response is to support the children to the full extent. The students at Westel are already so excited about SOAR, and as soon as the school administration adopts the program, it will be an empowering educational experience for everyone involved." With a community sponsor and school board support in place, all that's left to bring study skills to Westel students is for the school administration to adopt and implement the program.