Finding Ways To Include Everyone

4 Nov

Recently we were extremely fortunate to see Barbara Coloroso present at the Capitol Theatre in Chatham.    As part of a PA Day activity, Barbara spoke to us about her work on the subject of bullying.  Barbara even managed to keep a theatre full of teachers quiet – no easy feat;-)   It was amazing and inspiring.

One thing that Barbara mentioned resonated with us.  She spoke about how students benefit from a variety of clubs and activities.  The more diversity there is in the extracurricular activities, the better.  One of those preaching to the choir moments!  For the most part, we tend to run clubs that we like to call “quirky.”  Neither of us are particularly good at, or even interested in sports, so we tend to create clubs and activities that we enjoy and hope to inspire our students in different ways.  As such, we thought we would offer overviews and outlines of clubs that we have offered as we complete them.

The first one is Friendship Club.  The goal was to have junior level students thinking about friendship and encourage them to reach out to other students.  We usually had a friendship focus followed by a craft that they had to give away to a friend.  After the first week, we made sure they could make 2 of the craft as we noticed the “friend” was often already in Friendship Club – they were partnering to make certain they still got the craft that we made.  (Guess the club also encouraged some students to become strategists!). The weekly outline for the club can be found under downloads; we compiled ideas, we didn’t create and we’re sharing with you as a time-saver.

Since research indicates that one of the most important components in school success is feeling a sense of belonging, clubs such as this one are important.  We might even suggest that they are just as important as the sports clubs- not more important but just as important.  Try it and see what you think.

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