Caring School Community Buddy Days
Starting in the Summer of 2008, a group of teachers at Pond Elementary School decided to complete monthly service learning projects which would allow students to be more aware of and involved in community issues in an effort to take character education to a higher level. For example, one month they hosted a guest speaker from a local nursing home during buddy day. Later that day, students made fleece blankets in their service learning activities and the blankets were delivered to the nursing home for the residents. To prepare for this journey, the school formed a team of teachers that attended a two-day district workshop, The ABC's of Service Learning. After obtaining great ideas for our school's projects, the team met several times over the summer to create monthly service learning projects and the agenda for the year. The team communicated with other district staff members, contacted the Partners in Education coordinator, connected service learning activities with the character word of the month, and created buddy books specific to varying grade levels (K, 1-2, 3-5). When the rest of the staff returned to school in the Fall of 2008, the team hosted a kick-off where they talked about how all fit into a puzzle and each plays an important part. Staff and students created puzzle pieces (Peace Pals) to form that connection between all of our groups in our school. Staff members randomly picked their buddy classes, and those groups get together formally once a month, and informally more times throughout the year. The team communicates with parents through newsletters and the school website and continues to hold monthly meetings.
Mrs. Alicia Bottorff