The Watchman

The Watchman

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Building Leaders....One Child at a Time

The following quote is taken from a recent email I received:

In an effort to Build Leaders One Child at a Time, our Principal Mr. Leavenworth has initiated an award for students to achieve in two areas, Cubs of Character or Cubs of Learning. A Student from each class is selected by the teacher for demonstrating excellence in one of these areas. Your student has received one of those awards today and will be bringing home this award. We are proud of them and know you are as well. Please take the time to acknowledge and congratulate them on this achievement. (My daughter told me it is actually two students from each class for each award.)

Cubs of Learning
The school my girls attend could be a difficult school.  Many of the students live below the poverty level and for many English is not the primary language in their home.  The school population exceeds the capabilities of the building, so the playground is dotted with portable classrooms, yet many classes are still at the maximum capacity of students.  Even with all these challenges, my children continue to have great experiences and the school continues to meet test standards.  I know that this is due to the dedication of the faculty and volunteers found here.  In addition to reading, writing and arithmetic; the students are given the opportunity to participate in a science fair, a school spelling bee, school choir, school carnival, dance festival, multiple field trips, school stores, chess club, art club, science club, student council, dodgeball/kickball/flag football tournaments and many more things.  Each student is recognized on their birthday over the morning announcements and receives a pencil from the office.  Birthdays are also posted on a board outside the office and the hallways are lined with students' work.

Students are asked to help with fundraising for extras, not by selling wrapping paper or candy or cookie dough, but by bringing in grocery store receipts and boxtops.  I have watched my own children develop a sense of pride when they know that they helped earn the money for a purchase or activity.  They also help complete service projects for the community.  The principal will set goals for the students with a reward if the goal is achieved.  He has let students throw pies at him, kissed a pig and this year will be camping out on the school roof.  I have sat through many assemblies where chaos could have reigned, but rather than the constant sound of shushing or the words - "students be quiet", there is praise for students who are setting a good example and the chant of "La Verkin" with the response "Cubs" from the students to gain attention.

This year, in addition to the motto "Building Leaders One Child at a Time", there are signs that say, "We are La Verkin - No excuses, No limits." This year, Mr. Leavenworth decided to recognize teachers as well as students for excellence.  Each child/teacher is awarded a certificate with a personal message from their teacher/the principal.  This was Lela's message for her Cubs of Learning:

Talk about a hard worker!  Lela has been doing a great job this year with her academics.  Math seems to be one of Lela's favorite subjects.  She has also been doing and amazing job with First in Math.  She is not only leading the class in total number of stickers, but she is also leading the whole school with 5,764 stickers.  Way to go Lela!   KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

Here was the email I received from Lela's teacher this week:

Your student will be receiving a reward this Friday at our monthly awards assembly.  We would love it if you could be in attendance.  Your student has been working hard and will be recognized for their efforts.

It would be much appreciated if you could keep this a secret as your student will not find out until the assembly that they are getting their award.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. 

I appreciated the notice (this is the first time I have ever been notified prior to the award).  Lela tried to play it really cool that her parents were there (got to love 10-year-olds!), but she was more than willing to ham it up for the camera afterwards.
Lela holding her certificate and wearing her Player of the Week Badge
I know that this faculty is  not the only group of educators doing an outstanding job in difficult circumstances.  I also know how lucky I am that my children have such dedicated professionals to help them on their path of learning.  So again I say THANK YOU!!!  I know that my children are not only gaining skills that will help them in their further education, but they are learning the characteristics of good citizens.

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