Mike's Notes: Why Project Period?

Posted by Mike Henriques

7:30 a.m. Day three of Project Period and it is raining with a light skim of snow on campus. A freezing rain advisory issued by the Weather Channel is in effect until 9:00 a.m. The lights are on in the Community House where Patty Pond coordinates, supports, and cheers on the various groups as they come and go on campus. Soap Making, Conquering Childhood Cancer with St. Baldrick’s Foundation Event, Backcountry Medicine and Leadership, Maple Sugaring, The Lakota Way, Mono Prints…and so many more. Why do we do this?Proctor Academy Project Period

In an age where technology infuses and artificially steeps almost every moment of every day, where the world’s 24-hour news cycle churns out the next worrisome headline, where the pressures on adolescents consistently increase, Project Period may provide a useful, albeit small, antidote. In time when teenage depression is on the rise, anxiety is increasing, and ADHD diagnosis and corresponding medication prescription is going up, maybe the play of Project Period is just what is needed.

We think so.


We believe that finding the time to create this kind of interlude in the schedule of the year is important. We have prioritized it, scheduled for it, and broken the typical academic schedule intentionally. It is not a holiday, not a free-for-all, not a throwaway week. It is a time when your child finds they are in the middle of a different peer group, interacting with adults outside of a traditional classroom. It is a time of relationship building, both peer-to-peer, and adult-to-student. It is a time when we pull back a layer to expose something more of life’s rhythms and balance. It is a time of intentional and focused play.

And it is too short.

Proctor Academy Project Period

The dog sledders, the hikers, and the hunters return to campus too soon, but we know that when they do and when the week wraps up, there will be found lessons. It’s one of those marker experiences for students, typically in the top four or five when they reflect on their Proctor years. Project Period. It’s that time when the relationship side of Proctor comes into sharper focus, when adults share new passions, when learning becomes play and play becomes learning. It’s a time when we learn to live just a little bit more.

Proctor Academy Mike's Notes

Mike Henriques P'11, P'15

Proctor Academy Head of School 

Check Out Project Period 2016 in Photos Here! 


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