"My fondest memories of REACH would include the time we got to spend working on our projects outside where we could enjoy the outdoors while working on our projects. I also loved the many creative projects we were able to do in the REACH program. These projects helped me learn about the different topics in ways that were not taking notes on a lecture or reading from the textbook. I am a creative person and being able to express my creativity was something that I really enjoyed. I also loved the time I got to work and bond with my peers. There were many group projects that taught me how to work in groups, and I have many wonderful memories from these group projects. The REACH program prepared me very well for high school. I learned how to manage my time and work ahead, which is very important. I have many peers that struggle with time management, but I have not struggled because the REACH program taught me this valuable skill. While writing the research papers for the program, the teachers set up deadlines and checkpoints for us so we could space out our project. This taught us how to do this for ourselves while also keeping up from being stressed. I also learned how to critically read articles and books. When I had to do a research paper last year, I found it very easy because of REACH. I knew what resources to use and how to read though them and find what I needed for my paper efficiently. The REACH program taught me how to take notes effectively, too. I remember in 6th grade taking notes in multiple styles, which prepared me to take effective, personal notes formatted in ways that I have used ever since. Finally, REACH has an emphasis on MLA formatting, which is the only format my English teachers use. It was very nice to go into high school knowing how to format my papers, so I only had to worry about the content of essays rather than the formatting like my peers."
~Madison S., GHS (Cambridge, Class of 2021)
My fondest memory of REACH was "presenting my national history day project in 8th grade." The REACH program prepared me for high school and beyond by allowing "me to improve my writing and researching abilities and it put me ahead of the majority of other students, even in accelerated programs."
~Joe U., EHS (IB, Class of 2020)
"My fondest memories of the REACH program involve the camaraderie of the students in the face of a rigorous curriculum. We spent many days in class collaborating on group projects and conversing while working on our final essays; this brought me closer to my classmates, and I developed deep friendships that I still maintain into my junior year of high school. In retrospect I appreciate it now more than I ever have. My academic experience in the REACH program prepared me for the rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum, and it taught me how to handle both acute and underlying academic stress in an appropriate manner. My social experience in the REACH program reinforced within me crucial skills such as collaboration, team-building, and conflict resolution."
~Jacob M., EHS (IB, Class of 2021)
"I made so many friends in the REACH program that I still talk to today. The REACH Program helped me with my time management skills and essay writing skills."
~Anna L., BHS (Entrepreneurship, Class of 2020)
My fondest memory of the REACH program was "being selected for and going to state NHD in 8th grade. I also really enjoyed the classes, mainly because of the teachers. It helped teach time management with such a long project. Learning MLA format young was helpful to get students into that habit starting in 6th grade. It also was helpful to do a project that in depth and involved."
~Emma G., BHS (Class of 2021)
"I know how to write a mean research paper and have yet to get lower than a 95% throughout high school because of it. It also inadvertently helped me in my AP US history class since my research topic was on the underground railroad and the great depression."
~Mikayla U., BHS (Class of 2020)
"I spent 3 years in the same classes with the same people and made some of my best friends for life. The memories I made in middle school with these people are still with me. My teachers had a huge impact as well. I can’t even describe the impact they had on me not to mention their teaching skills were amazing. Learning MLA format was HUGE. I use that every time I write an essay. Every essay structure and grammar and anything they gave us is still what I use today. They gave us high school level work which made the transition from middle school to high school easy."
~Ally C., BHS (Entrepreneurship, Class of 2020)
"One of my fondest memories of the REACH program was the NHD project I completed in 8th grade. Learning how to conduct such an elaborate project was so interesting and helped me grow as a student.The teachers and leaders of the program were phenomenal, and I was able to connect with most all of them. Because of REACH, I was able to develop relationships with so many of my best friends today. I loved staying with the same class for two periods in a row and becoming close with each person over the 3 years. The REACH program did so much for me when preparing me for high school. I was taught so many grammar rules, but specifically, I learned the foundation of writing an amazing essay. I learned MLA formatting and how to analyze literature. I learned how to preserve in a class that brought forth challenges. During my time in middle school, I never knew how much REACH would impact my high school experience. However, once I began high school AP and honors courses, I was able to use so many tools I learned in REACH to excel in every type of class."
~Sarah L., BHS (Class of 2020)
"I really liked the community- the students in REACH throughout my three years all got to know each other well and made new friends along the way. The books we read and the projects that were correlated to them challenged me, and I learned a lot from the experience. The REACH program laid a foundation for my high school English classes that other middle schools don’t provide. I learned how to analyze passages of text, how to research well and find credible sources, how to write essays at a higher level, along with many other skills. I use these skills every day in my high school classes; they are applicable to higher level history and science classes as well as English."
~Anna U., BHS (Class of 2021)
"My fondest memories include the advanced, current event seminars we held and spoke about. There were many issues brought to my attention that we were educated about during these seminars, and even wrote essays on some of the events, such as the death penalty controversy. Though it was hard work, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing process of the research paper and the creation of the iMovie for NHD. The REACH program taught me how to write academic papers/research papers and taught me MLA format, two skills which will benefit me for the rest of my academic career. Upon entering high school, my writing skills were above the others because of the teachings of the REACH program, and the amazing, helpful, and insanely smart teachers and staff."
~Camden W., BHS (Class of 2021)
FCMS R.E.A.C.H. Students Participate in the "Ultimate Research Experience" at the University of Florida Libraries
Thanks to our partnership with the University of Florida, students have the opportunity to experience using the area's largest archives and research databases. We'd like to give a special thanks to the staff in the Rare Collections department at the University for training students to use the university's media resources, and for going above and beyond to provide students with resources that fit their topic! We had such a great experience and our research was top notch at the state competition!
2nd Place: Group Documentary 2017
Myles F., Luke S.
Tiananmen Square: The Movement that Defined Modern China
3rd Place: Group Website 2017
Ginger K., Hannah S.
Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation
1st Place: Group Website 2016
Allison C., Caroline T.
Salvador Dali: The Madman Behind American Modern Art
2nd Place: Group Documentary 2016
Avery G., Natalie F.
The Ripple Effect: The 1918 Influenza Epidemic
2010-2011 FCMS Students Place 6th in the Nation for NHD Documentary
Two students from the 8th grade REACH program traveled to College Park, Maryland to compete at the national level of National History Day. Two of our students won 6th place in the junior group documentary category for their 10-minute documentary titled “A Controversial Universe: Debates About the Expanding Universe Theory.”
In addition to winning at the national level, these students received the Outstanding County Award and the Science Heritage Award at the Florida History Fair in Tallahassee, Florida. Eleven other students from the REACH program also competed at the state level in the group website, individual website, group documentary, and individual documentary category. The students’ projects ranged from debates about Prohibition to diplomatic negotiations at the Yalta Conference.
For 2008-2009 National History Day, eighth-grade students from Fort Clarke Middle School attended the state competition, in Tallahassee, Florida. Both of our group entries made it to the final day of competition. On awards day, we were thrilled to hear that we won 2nd place with our entry on William Morton and 3rd place with our entry on J. Robert Oppenheimer. Both groups were awarded medals and savings bonds for varying amounts. Our 2nd place winners represented Florida at the National Contest in College Park, Maryland.