The GRACE (GRoton Accelerate Challenge Enrich) summer program is underway, with its largest ever group of participants.
Thirty-six rising Fourth Formers arrived on Sunday, June 30 to take advantage of the four weeks of academic challenge, designed to propel students to advanced courses and fill preparation gaps.
“This is by far the largest group of GRACE Scholars yet,” said GRACE Program Director Dave Prockop P’15, ’17. Attendance jumped by about 60 percent compared to past years.
Most GRACE Scholars take two courses, choosing among math, chemistry, English, and Latin. Besides those courses, they are working in Groton’s art studios and Fab Lab during free periods, and taking theater workshops. Afternoons and weekends are filled with summertime activities and excursions.
GRACE has a new feature this year—teaching assistants (TAs), many of whom attended GRACE themselves during its inaugural 2016 season. “They are providing some classroom assistance and also helping with some administrative tasks and, most importantly, serving as tutors and mentors to students in their assigned courses,” said Mr. Prockop.
The teaching assistants know firsthand the value of GRACE. “I’ve realized how far I’ve come In my academic journey at Groton by helping chemistry and Latin kids with concepts I once struggled with but now can execute without thought,” said teaching assistant Montanna Riggs ’19.
Gus Vrattos ’19 finds the TA experience rewarding, and remembers how well GRACE prepared him for all facets of Upper School. “Attending GRACE as a student prepared me very well for AP Chemistry," he said, "but more importantly, it was an extra term of Groton that became some of the most memorable time I’ve spent at this school and that created and solidified many friendships early in my Groton career.”
Montanna, Gus, and four other TAs are also getting a taste of teaching. “It’s fascinating to watch someone else move through the steps of learning, from introducing a concept to practicing it and finally (hopefully) getting to a place of proficiency,” said Montanna. “I have a newfound respect for all the teachers I’ve ever had.”
The 2019 GRACE program
continues through July 27.