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Midvale Journal

Midvale Middle to honor its MYP students who make a positive impact in community

May 11, 2021 11:32AM ● By Julie Slama

The Midvale Middle’s Trojan mascot congratulated eighth-grade students at last year’s drive-by MYP ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Midvale Middle)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Midvale Middle School will celebrate its “road” scholars, similarly to Rhodes Scholars.

That is, administrators and teachers will be on the curb in front of the school awarding Midvale Middle School eighth-grade students their International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme certificates in a drive-by ceremony.  

The two-hour celebration will begin at 5 p.m., May 20 and students will be assigned time slots to ensure numbers are limited and social distancing guidelines align with the Salt Lake County COVID-19 guidelines.

“We’ll have it decorated outside, with teachers along the route cheering,” said Shelley Allen, Midvale Middle School MYP program coordinator. “We’ll announce student’s name, award them their certificate and a flash drive that includes all the students’ accomplishments. At that point, students can hop out of their cars to pose for a photo.”

All MYP students will receive a pizza to make a celebratory night with their families.

The COVID-style celebration is similar to last year, when about 150 students or 75% of the MYP honorees attended.

The capstone of MYP is the Make a Difference project, which requires students to research, plan, organize and reflect, Allen said.

“They have the power to change the world and we hope they will use the knowledge they’ve gained through MYP to make an impact on their community,” she said. 

Many of the students’ Make a Difference Projects this year were tied to the pandemic, Allen said.

“Many students learned about others’ stories and the impact COVID-19 had whether it related to animals, businesses, police, schools, health care or personal stories,” she said. “It was a starting point and what we saw was their sharing of stories and how they became grateful for many things we have taken for granted.”

Some students developed their research into other assignments in English and history, she said, as recently Allen and eighth-grade core teachers merged projects so they could be used in English-language arts, social studies and their MYP award. 

“When it came to taking action, some students expressed kindness, writing notes to people who may be lonely or putting up signs to reach out to others,” Allen said. “Their opportunity was expansive, but many students did positive things to make others’ happy.”

Midvale Middle School received its authorization from International Baccalaureate to offer the full MYP program in August 2012. Recently, it was renewed so Midvale Middle will continue to help students take ownership of their learning, make connections with the world around them and to empower them to be good citizens, Allen said.

“MYP unifies our students,” she said. “We embrace our diversity. Our international-mindedness makes us better people who are making connections and becoming good citizens.”