Through a Communities in Schools grant, about 70 pupils left the school cafeteria behind to experience the culture and cuisine of Mikoto of Kurama Japanese restaurant on Washington Road on Thursday and Friday.
“Many of the kids say ‘This is the first time I’ve eaten at a Japanese restaurant,'” said Mary Crawford, the executive director of Communities in Schools of Augusta/Richmond County.
Pupils also are learning how to greet someone and order food in the foreign tongue, 13-year-old Janelle Jasper said.
“We learn something other than what we see every day,” she said.
The purpose of the class is to do that and more, said Greg Davis, a Tubman Middle counselor, who helps with the grant.
The purpose is also to increase pupils’ self-esteem, address attendance problems, decrease the number of discipline issues and boost academics.
“We’re just trying to knock their socks off and make learning neat,” Mr. Davis said.
As I recall, middle school curriculums were generally awesome, and middle school students were generally pricks. (Not that high school was much better. Ah, the teenage years.)