Co-Curricular Classes & Activities

Our core curriculum clubs and classes are designed to develop the student’s mind in ways that cannot be accomplished by the state required curriculum alone. Over the past century the needs of the marketplace have driven the state curriculum, which has caused it to become more pragmatic. Of course, Newman International Academy recognizes the necessity and utility of a curriculum focused on preparation for higher education and vocation. It is needed and extremely important. However, this endeavor to narrow the curriculum’s focus has forced many public schools to eliminate some disciplines that, not only serve as the foundation for better student performance in the basic, state required curriculum, but also allow the student to become a better thinker— to be more strategic in making decisions that will affect all aspects of his or her life. At Newman we have implemented Core Curriculum Clubs and Classes to ensure that our students are fully prepared to engage education, vocation and life, strategically.

Chess: A growing body of research shows that chess improves students' thinking and problem-solving skills as well as their math and reading test scores. Chess also helps the student's visual memory, attention span, and spatial-reasoning ability. Players actually begin to develop new neural pathways in the brain which help them to reason more effectively, and even overcome mental disabilities. And because chess requires players to make a series of decisions, each move helps the student learn to plan ahead, evaluate alternatives, use logic to make sound choices. This is more than a game. It is a catalyst for thinking strategically about life’s many choices. What’s more, students generally love playing chess. The Newman chess program is supported by Dr. Ebenezer Joseph, one of the best chess players in the world! He is the chess champion of India and has beaten the world champion three times. He has spent much of his adult life training young people to play chess, specifically for the purposes of helping them achieve greater cognitive capacity and realizing greater opportunity. We are thankful to have his regular and intimate involvement with our program such that we may help our students become better, more strategic chess players, and thinkers.  

Please click here for a video of Ebenezer Joseph giving a chess workshop.

Debate:
Debate is a long-valued method of education, traditionally called rhetoric. It aids a student in developing numerous skillsets, some of which are not immediately obvious. First, debate helps a student develop self-confidence, as he or she regularly stands before an audience explaining and declaring propositions. Second, debate teaches a student how to analyze propositions. In a world where social-media appears always to have the last word, this skill is of paramount importance. Third, the ability to stand against a proposition held persuasively by others, empowers the student to be an individual among his or her peers; it helps him or her to be a leader rather than a follower. Fourth, debate demands discipline: discipline of the mind, and of behavior. This teaches the student to think and act in accordance with reason, rather than emotion. Fifth, debate teaches a student to speak persuasively, which is, of course, integral to any relationship and vocation. Maybe the most important skill learned in debate, is strategic thinking, i.e.: “If I say this, he will say that, which will allow me to close this way.” This translates well into all academic endeavors, (test preparation for example) and a profitable life.  

Latin: Latin helps students to understand English language more deeply. Indeed, half of our English language is Latin words or roots, and, all of the root words in modern science are provided by Latin. Latin is also the language of law, government, philosophy and theology. As such, the mastery of Latin prepares a student for higher education, especially an education in one of the aforementioned fields, or in an Ivy League school. Learning Latin may also be the most efficient method of learning grammar, (even English grammar) and as such, one of the best ways to learn any new language.