My name is Kirsten Jewett, and I am fortunate enough to work with our student leadership program at View Ridge Elementary. I wanted to share all the great work we’ve been doing this year!
Our program was created in conjunction with staff from the University of WA and their Student Leadership classes/program as a way to empower younger students to understand their own potential in leadership.
In a nutshell, 2-3 students from every class, K-5, comes to a Leadership Lunch once a week (during my PCP and lunch time) for a total of two weeks (and then a new group of students comes for two weeks after that, etc.). During the first week’s lunch, we discuss and learn what it means to know and show leadership to self, to others, to our school and to our community. All students are given a badge with specific leadership actions to fulfill over the following week. We meet with the same group of students for a second lunch session exactly one week later, and we reflect on our actions and make plans to continue to act as a leader to our self/others/school/community.
Our goal is that every student at View Ridge goes through this program. Students who have completed the Leadership Lunches can then take their actions further to create/do something positive for the school–as long as they run the idea by me and Mr. Roos, and we find a way together to support their goal. It was in this way that our student council was formed–a 4th grader really wanted to set up a student council, so we made a plan and made it happen with staff support. We have a student president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, as well as two representatives from each upper grade level class. We meet twice a week (also during my PCP on non-Leadership days) to tackle issues important to the students.
Currently, we are working on fundraising for Mary’s Place Homeless Shelter of Seattle, as well as a handful of other issues. It’s been a fantastic way to support students with issues that are meaningful to them. Thank you to all the students, staff and families who’ve helped to shape some awesome leaders!