The Extra Mile Challenge Club or EMC2 program at Cincinnati Christian Schools exists to enrich the academic learning of students who have been identified as “gifted.” The program is designed to provide academic challenges for those who are intellectually advanced in order to help each child reach his/her full potential. EMC2 will provide an environment and activities designed to stimulate higher-level critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, research skills, and creative thinking.

EMC2 Qualification and Selection

Students in 3rd through 6th grades qualify for EMC2 primarily through standardized test scores. Scores are reviewed annually and any student with a national percentile score of 95% or higher in Total Math or Total Reading will be invited to join EMC2. Once students enter the EMC2 program at CCS, they are permitted to stay in the program year after year as long as the following three criteria are met.

Students are required to stay on the honor roll each quarter. If a student fails to make the honor roll, he/she is placed on probation from EMC2 for one quarter. This will allow the student to focus on the core curriculum in their regular classroom. If the student, after a one-quarter probation, makes the honor roll, he/she is invited to rejoin EMC2.

Students are required to maintain high standardized test scores. In order to continue in EMC2, students must score 95% or higher in Total Math or Total Reading within a two-year time period. The scores will be reviewed annually.

Students must be motivated to perform in both their regular classroom activities and in the EMC2 program. Teachers can recommend that a student’s participation in EMC2 be suspended if the student is not submitting quality and timely classroom work.

Parents will receive a letter in September of each school year if their child has qualified for and has been invited to join EMC2. It is ultimately the parents’ decision to allow participation in the program. Please talk with your child and make an informed decision.

EMC2 Sessions and Activities

The EMC2 program is organized into two unique programs, with each program holding one session per week. Each session lasts for approximately 40 minutes. The sessions and activities involved in each are outlined below.

EMC2 Reading Program

There will be one weekly session for the EMC2 Reading Program. Students will focus on reading quality literature, holding guided book discussions, and participating in a variety of activities centered on reading. Some planned activities are listed below. To qualify for the EMC2 Reading Program, a student must obtain a national percentile score of 95% or higher in Total Reading.


  • Students will read literature not being read in the classroom. Most novels to be read in EMC2 are Newberry Medal, Honor Books, or are considered classics.
  • Most novels are above grade level.
  • Some novels will be read together as a class, some will be read in small groups, and some will be read individually.

Junior Great Books:

  • Students will read and discuss short stories from the Junior Great Books curriculum.


  • Students will be introduced to classic literature including Shakespeare and Greek Mythology.

EMC2 Math Program

There will be one weekly session for the EMC2 Math Program. Students will focus on creative problem-solving, critical thinking skills, cooperative group activities, collection and interpretation of data, and the use of logic. Some planned activities are listed below. To qualify for the EMC2 Math Program, a student must obtain a national percentile score of 95% or higher in Total Math.

GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science):

  • Students will perform hands-on activities from the GEMS curriculum, based on grade level.
  • Activities include the Build-it Festival, Math Around the World,  Math on the Menu, In All Probability, and Group Solutions.

Logic Games and Puzzles:

  • Students will have fun with logic games such as Chess, Blokus, Rush Hour, SET, Tipover, and The Amaze-ing Labyrinth.
  • Students will work on challenging logic puzzles such as Perplexors, Venn Diagrams, Mindbenders, and more.

Rubik Cube Exploration (5th graders only):

  • Students will learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube and will be equipped to be able to solve the cube on their own. We will then present our findings to other classrooms.

Regular Classroom Work and EMC2

The EMC2 program is designed to provide alternate higher-level thinking and challenging activities to supplement what the students are doing in their regular classroom, but not extra work. For this reason, students will not be required to make up all the work they missed in the regular classroom while they were participating in the EMC2 program. Students are still responsible for the subject matter covered while they are absent from the regular classroom. Students will have the same homework but no additional work to complete to “make up” what they missed.  Exceptions include tests, class reports, and special projects. The regular classroom teachers will strive to give tests, hold special labs and activities, and teach new Shurley English lessons when all students are present.

Questions about EMC2

All questions about the EMC2 Program can be directed to the EMC2 coordinator via email or at the school at (513) 874-8500.