It’s A G.R.E.A.T. Summer for Young Scholars!

gary_header_2_w_glowWhat a G.R.E.A.T. Summer this is!

I was once again invited to teach magic at the Senior Scholars Institute, a program sponsored by the Franklin Special School District in Franklin, TN. In addition to magic classes, the program offers an incredible array of fun classes that students enjoy for a week at a time. Check out the selection of classes – CLICK HERE! I know there are several that I wish I had time to take. I teach 4 magic classes each day – 3 Magic 101 classes and 1 Advanced Magic class where the focus is sleight of hand. I had the opportunity to work with nearly 70 young students this summer and to help students learn how to create that “Moment of Magic” for people in their audiences. My daughter, Diana, is also a teacher in the program (teaching American Sign Language) and we got to spend some quality time together riding back and forth each day.

And then there is the G.R.E.A.T. Summer Day Camp!

For the past 8 years, I have worked with the Police Officers who staff the Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program. These are the School Resource Officers (SRO’s) who serve in our schools and provide a community policing approach to maintaining the safety of the learning environment through the prevention and reduction of school crime and violence.

My show adds an element of fun to the program, but more than that it encourages Higher Level Thinking. When you think about magic, whenever someone asks, “How does he do that? – How does it work?” it causes that person to wonder.

The Sense of Wonder motivates each person to find meaning and substance in the magic according to the rules of nature and physics that the person understands. But Magic causes them to go beyond in their thinking. In other words, it activates a Higher Level of Thinking and Creative Problem Solving – activities that the G.R.E.A.T. Program strongly encourages.

Officer Harold Wells, Coordinator for the G.R.E.A.T. Camps, adds that, “Dr. Flegal brings smiles and laughter to us every summer. The show is outstanding and a highlight of the Summer Camp. Our campers and police officers look forward to it every summer and would not miss having it for anything!”

During the school year each SRO provides a law enforcement presence within the school community, but also offers so much more. They assist teachers and develop relationships with students as counselor and confidant, as well as connecting students with community resources and teaching in the area of law-related education.

Police are concerned that boredom from being out of school can be the perfect catalyst to ease some children into gangs. The G.R.E.A.T. camp was created with the hope of keeping children out of violence in the present and future. “We try and get to them early where we can influence their minds and hearts early on before they reach other people in the street that might try to influence them as well,” says Metro Officer Harold Wells. “We try and get them to make better decisions regarding their futures — gangs and drugs and that sort of thing.”

“Working with these kids and the Metro Officers is truly a highlight of my summer!” says Dr. Flegal. He will be presenting shows for the G.R.E.A.T. camps on June 4th, June 24th, July 8th, and July 15th.