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AISD Gives Lessons In Medieval Chivalry

Updated: Monday, September 10 2012, 07:05 PM CDT

While the University of Texas is teaching its students new cutting edge technologies, one Austin elementary school is going ‘old school’ to help its students succeed. Their lesson plan is so old that it’s positively medieval.

Rotary Club Austin is footing the bill for a program called Early Act First Knight.

Organizers of the show at Dawson Elementary hope students will walk away with more than just memories of knights on horses.  They want the students to remember the knight's virtues of gallantry and service to others.

"Because we feel like character and integrity are just as important as what the children are learning.  If they don't have character, they're not going to be successful in their daily life," says Mary Reynolds with Rotary Club Austin.

Some people might think the program is cutting into important class time.  But the organizers say it's actually going to save them time in the long run.

"Children want to do their best and want school to be a good place.  But when they have a focus like this and they have motivation, then yes, we get to focus more on the teaching and the learning," says Dawson Elementary Principal Shannon Sellstrom.

"And that's what we're ultimately trying to accomplish... Less discipline problems and more teaching time," says Reynolds.

Teachers who have participated in the First Knight program in the past say they were able to reclaim as much as 30 minutes a day that had been lost to behavioral issues.  And that adds up, literally adding class days to the school year at no additional cost. 

The Rotary Club's Early Act First Knight program has been around for six years. This is Dawson Elementary's third year to participate in the program.

By Fred Cantu.AISD Gives Lessons In Medieval Chivalry

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