Students Who Excel: In Pursuit of Academic Excellence (Alice S.)


It’s not uncommon for Alice S.'s father to quiz her on something mathematical or even make up math games for her and her 3-and-a-half-year-old sister.

“He likes to make me do real hard division problems,” the 10-year-old Lewis fourth-grader said.

She also enjoys reading ~ especially the “Dork Diaries” about the goings-on with a middle school-aged girl ~ and said often borrows six or more books from the public library when she visits. She figures she easily reads more than 20 books a week. That love of reading might have come from her mother, a school social worker/counselor, who said she read 10 books a night to her when she was younger.

Her favorite class at Lewis is the Academic Talent class.

“I like going to AT the best because it challenges me,” Alice said.  “My favorite subject is reading.”

“I like thinking hard ~ that’s like fun for me,” Alice said. “And I like division and multiplication.”

Alice also apparently likes independent research: This past summer, she created a PowerPoint on the 3Rs of recycling and presented it at the Carbondale Public Library; she’s working on one on climate change that she’d like to present there in another few weeks.

Alice gets additional academic support through the Khan Academy, in which her mother enrolled her and in which she can take tests three or so times a week.  Khan Academy offers free, online courses for students and parents. (Learn more:

            Her father works as an architect.

Students Who Excel: Girl peering over top of book


Alice’s Tips for Achieving Academic Excellence

  • Find the fun aspects of your classwork/homework; by doing so, you might realize it helps you to learn it faster.
  • Enroll in a free Khan Academy class to help with test-taking and learning information.
  • Read for fun.