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Stamford campers use Harry Potter to learn transition skills

By Erin Kayata, 08/08/18, 1:04PM EDT


STAMFORD — What does Harry Potter have to do with learning time management?

A lot, apparently, at least at PRISM, a summer program for incoming sixth graders run by the educational arm of the Stamford Peace Youth Foundation.

PRISM stands for PRactical Investigations of Science and Math. But the weeklong camp also teaches 20 incoming sixth graders skills they need to transition smoothly into middle school such as time management, leadership, note-taking and listening.

“There’s a big jump between elementary and middle school and an even bigger jump between middle and high school,” said program director Andrew Sklover. “We think those transition periods are underserved. We need to be more focused on that transition so when they get to middle school, they’re not feeling overwhelmed.”

Just as these aren’t traditional school lessons, campers aren’t subject to school-style worksheets and homework packets. On the first day of camp, program coordinator Martine Curto, a retired high school teacher, appealed to the children’s fantastical side by having them schedule a day for Harry Potter.

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