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Editorial: Lessons come in many forms

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There is more to school than what goes on in the classroom. Turning out good students takes more than pencils and books. Students learn lessons every day that will never show up on a standardized test.

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There are two good examples of that in this week's issue, and they take place in different ways and in different cities.

One is going on at Rosemount Elementary School, where students gather each week to do tricks with a jumprope.

There are some obvious benefits to the school's double dutch club. It gets kids up and moving, which is good for their health. But there are some less obvious benefits as well. The club draws students from kindergarten all the way up through eighth grade. Those students, with their variety of backgrounds and interests, learn to get along. Older students learn to be leaders. Younger students get good role models. They learn to be creative. They develop the confidence to perform in front of large groups of strangers.

That is a lot to take away from a few hours jumping rope.

A few miles southwest at North Trail Elementary School, there is a very different kind of program going on. Students are bridging a generation gap by learning activities and then traveling to a nearby nursing home to spend some time with senior citizens.

Organizers didn't know what to expect when they launched the program, but so far it's been a hit. Students love spending time with the seniors, and seniors enjoy the visits from the youngsters. Both groups benefit from the simple interaction, but the seniors also have plenty to teach that will come out in ordinary conversation.

There are plenty of other examples. We have covered many of them. We will likely cover more. We believe students are better off because they have access to them.

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