The Lady Bugs student group at New Song Academy is an outgrowth of the Best Friends program which was initiated in 2001 by then family and parent liaison, Jane Johnson. Like Best Friends, a nationally recognized organization with a curriculum focused on abstinence support, drug and alcohol resistance and social development, Lady Bugs works with middle school girls to develop self-regulation, conflict resolution skills, and emotional awareness. Under the leadership of Ms. LaRhonda Parker, the girls dialogue, journal, participate in a fitness regimen, and design dance, theater and other artistic expressions to work toward their development goals.
The Best Men program was initiated in 2004 to develop self-regulation, conflict resolution skills and emotional awareness among the middle school boys at New Song Academy. Under the leadership of male leaders from the community, and supporters from without, Best Men uses dialogue, readings, and creative expression to aid in the social development of the youth in the program. During our annual Night of the Arts performance, the boys showcase their learning from the year in music, poetry and theater.
Founder and former ED of New Song Learning Center, Susan Tibbels, initiated the Discovery Club in the 2013-2014 school year. This course is a microcosm of her 25-year-old vision of a safe and healthy Sandtown-Winchester. The 3rd and 4th grade students enrolled in the program, which is a precursor to the Best Men and Lady Bugs programs offered to middle school students, learn to identify their strengths, understand their weaknesses, and work to improve on both. Through exercises which promote self-awareness, self-regulation and community care, Discovery Club is designed to build a foundation for leadership skills among its participants.