Student Group Takes on School Climate
The Wharton Borough Public School District has established the improvement of the school’s culture and climate as one of its district’s goals. A student group, in the Marie V. Duffy Elementary School, has taken on the task of fulfilling this initiative. This group has named itself the “Duffy Force”.
While the Duffy Force meets and plans within the school facility and hours, its effects and contributions look to impact not only the students and staff of the school, but also, student families and the greater school community. The premise this group bases its work on are the four core values of respect, responsibility, resilience and citizenship.
Duffy Force is comprised of third, fourth and fifth grade students that are looking to make an impact. These students, with the assistance of a handful of dedicated teachers, have targeted the school population by developing homeroom activities and character building YouTube videos for others to view.
The Force has developed “Homeroom Discussion Points” to help them spread their message of respect, kindness and goodwill. Each homeroom provides “classroom feedback” and the Force works to conquer any challenges. They have utilized many vehicles to instill their message. Their use of Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer’s “How Full is Your Bucket?” is an example of one such vehicle. After reading this, and viewing multiple YouTube videos produced by the Force, students throughout the elementary school completed small discussions and activities about “filling their own buckets”.
It is the group’s hope that these homeroom activities will not only guide their future work and allow them to provide “Shout-Outs” for positives discovered in the school, but also to transfer the culture and climate established in the school to all student’s homes.
This dedicated, self-driven group of students has used many platforms to present their message. They have exhibited and explained their work at Board of Education meetings, held school wide assemblies displaying their “Core Value” based videos and send peer mentors into classrooms on a bi-weekly basis.
I am very proud of the project these students have chosen to undertake and its link to the district’s goals. This link also demonstrates the staff’s commitment to emphasizing the established goals and instilling their importance to the students.
The internalization of the core values, determination to spread the importance of enhancing the school culture and their desire to impact the community at large makes this group worthy of recognition.