MIDDLE TOWNSHIP — Although they are just finishing up the fifth grade, a handful of township students just wrapped up a curriculum that included surgical simulation used to train real-life surgeons.

The district recently completed the Stealth Learning initiative with the help of the Stealth Learning Co. CEO Dr. James “Butch” Rosser. The district celebrated this accomplishment with the presentation of awards to students and teachers who participated in the program.

Rosser distributed awards to each participant and thanked them and their families for all of their hard work and their devotion to the program. After the awards ceremony, parents were invited to participate in some of the activities their children worked on each week, including video games, surgery simulators and drones.

“Parents should be so proud of their children. They are all so special. Their performance was unbelievable. Most people can’t believe that these kids were actually doing simulated surgical drills just like real surgeons do,” said Rosser.

Stealth Learning uses rap music, cinema, video games, drones and more aspects of pop culture to speed students’ acquisition of skills and knowledge in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Rosser’s curriculum first successfully improved the standardized testing scores of Florida students.

In October 2017, with a $100,000 grant awarded to Concerned Citizens of Whitesboro and coordinated by OCEAN Inc., he partnered with the township school district to replicate his methods for a group of fifth-grade students. The students met for 10 sessions after school at the Whitesboro Grammar School prior to beginning PARCC testing.

At the beginning of the year, Rosser trained a group of teachers from throughout the district and high school students, who would then use what they learned to teach fifth-graders different Stealth Learning techniques.

“My favorite part of the program was learning a lot of different things that I didn’t know I could learn before. I got to fly a drone, which was a lot of fun. The program also really got me more into science. It was a lot of work, but I really liked what I was able to learn,” said fifth-grader Savannah Hill.

The best part about the Stealth Learning initiative for the teachers was the opportunity to become students again and learn alongside high school students.

“Working with the high school students was awesome. I can’t say enough good things about them. They were here every week and learned the ins and outs of the program very quickly. We relied heavily on them throughout the process,” said Middle School aide Debbie Avicoli.

Started working with the Press in the Circulation Department in 2006 and moved to Editorial in 2008. Previously worked in Circulation and Advertising at the Asbury Park Press.

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