Washington Primary School’s fourth grade student leadership team initiative has been so successful that the program is being extended to third graders for the first time this year.
Last year’s team included all fourth graders in the building. Teachers Debbie Quiles and Vivian Joseph worked with the group on numerous projects around the school and out in the nearby community.
Students spent time learning many of the skills and qualities all good leaders possess. The fourth graders reported to Ms. Quiles’ room several times a month during their recess periods. They lent a hand at an assortment of school functions, spearheaded the collection of several dozen large boxes of non-perishable food items for distribution throughout the community and even spent several hours visiting and playing games with residents of a local nursing home.
Ms. Quiles and Ms. Joseph are once again teaming up for the 2017/18 fourth grade leadership team. Ms. Quiles plans to collaborate with fellow faculty members Victoria Creighton and Suzanne Dinehart on the new third grade initiative.
Washington Principal Marsha Neville enthusiastically supports the mission of both the third and fourth grade leadership teams and she’s prepared to help pave the way for some of the group’s activities, during the regular school day and after hours, too. “These types of leadership development opportunities are invaluable and a very important part of a well-rounded education,” Mrs. Neville said.
About 80 students in each of the two grades will be participating in the leadership program this year. They will meet twice a month with the advisors and engage in various activities.
“We have already reached out to the high school Interact Club and to the Young Leaders youth development organization,” Ms. Quiles said. “We’d like to collaborate with both of them.”
The Washington School third and fourth graders will also be making one or two trips to the nearby Carillon nursing and rehabilitation facility on Park Avenue to visit folks residing there, play games with them and keep them company.
Students will help out during several school and PTA events and be able to develop their leadership skills in the process. Fourth graders will also form the building’s safety patrol during arrival and dismissal each day.
The leadership program will formally get underway in October with a series of meetings to introduce students to the initiative and lay out plans for the year.
Ms. Quiles said one new initiative will involve doing some educational painting in Washington’s hallways to help younger students with key words and numbers.
“We are planning a fun and worthwhile year for the kids,” Ms. Quiles said.