NORWALK — Maybe you wouldn’t have thought she was smart.
A lanky girl with big brown eyes and dark skin, Mackenzie Jackson was not necessarily picked for this summer program for displaying conventional academic achievement. She was picked, though, for her leadership and out-of-the-box perspective — smarts of a different kind.
“I like when we get to play outside and get smarter, too,” Mackenzie, 6, said in a kindergarten classroom at Brookside Elementary this week.
She had just come back from outside, where her class jumped like bunnies, waddled like penguins and crawled like inch worms for the class’s measurement unit.
The classroom is one of four in Brookside for a summer program called Supporting and Promoting Advanced Readiness in Kids, or SPARK, a statewide project out of the University of Connecticut to include more underserved populations in academically talented tracks. The idea is that by giving students a jump-start through summer programming, they will be more likely to follow advanced programs later on in their academic career. Continue reading…