By CHRIS EVERSOLE
The Bronco Club is trailblazing – expanding its summer program to include classes for seventh- through 10th-graders.
Until now, the Bronco Club was limited to activities for students in the sixth grade or below – both after school and in the summer.
The new activities for older kids, known as S.O.A.R., began Tuesday with a Hire Me! class at Mustang High School.
Lynette Carel, who teaches at Horizon Intermediate School, emphasized the importance of social skills in finding – and keeping – a job.
Those skills include having good body language.
“You send a message that is not verbal,” she said.
Learning to present yourself well is important, she said, but she prefers to not call students “shy.”
“I like to say you’re developing your social skills,” she said. “We’re always changing and developing.”
Bronco Club Director Kris Green and administrative assistant Stacey Elliot jointly developed S.O.A.R., which stands for Seek Options, Achieve Results.
“We have found that this age group tends to have some limitations during the summer,” Elliot said.
“They are too old for most summer camps, and, other than going to White Water or Frontier City, there just isn’t a whole lot out there to offer.”
S.O.A.R. offered a robotics class Wednesday and Thursday.
It will have It’s My Money class beginning Monday.
The cost is $65.
Bronco Club was the brainchild of Chief Financial Officer Nancy McKay, who saw an opportunity both to serve parents as well develop a new revenue stream.
Bronco Club has completed its third year.
Enrollment in the after-school Bronco Club has risen to 650, up from 450 the first year.
The growth in the summer program has been even greater.
This summer, the average weekly attendance is nearly 150 – up from around 55 to 60 the first year and 90 last year.
Enrollment in each week is separate so that parents have flexibility.
All Bronco Club instructors are Mustang teachers. Support staff from the school district and some high school students serve as assistants – with the students receiving one class credit per semester.
Elliott’s daughter, Kylie Burnett, assisted Carel in the job-hunting class.
Burnett is an Oklahoma State University student.
“She said, ‘why wasn’t this available when I was younger,’” Elliot said. “’I could have gained so much.’”
Tuesday, Burnett had the opportunity to pass on tips about what she’s learned in the job market.