Every summer, two weeks before the upcoming school year begins, over twenty 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from the St. John’s Lutheran School Student Leadership Team attended a “retreat.” This year’s retreat was quite unique. Even with the uncertainty of the details that surround the start of the 2020-2021 school year, our dedicated Student Leaders were able to receive the training necessary to help them lead our school during the upcoming year. Our Student Leaders were also given the opportunity to plan, prepare and strategize for the major events they will be hosting during the upcoming school year, including:
- Spring Spirit Week planning
- Fall Pep Rally planning
- Packaging 75 Open House “Survival Kits” for the incoming 6th graders
- ASPIRE presentation training with Mr. Mercier
- Habitudes (Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes) training with Mr. Mercier
- Peer Counseling training with Miss Doyle
Student Leaders spent time doing team building activities in the gym. Not only were these activities fun and engaging, but they were designed to help our students experience the power of effective communication. Good listening, engaged body language, eye contact and being empathic were just a few of the skills that were practiced during our afternoon games. These games also gave our Student Leaders an opportunity to get to know each other in a fun, safe, encouraging environment.
The St. John’s Student Leadership Team is excited to serve our school’s student body, our congregation and community. What a blessing it is to have such a dedicated group of students and teachers who want to make a positive difference in the lives of so many people during the 2020-2021 school year.
The past few weeks fourth grade focused our attention and readings on the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is always an emotional few weeks as we approach tough conversations about race, culture, segregation, and discrimination. Subjects and pains that are not cured, as Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech still stands relevant to this day. Although the days of Jim Crow Laws and segregated buses are long gone, discrimination based on race, gender, culture, religion, disability, etc. are unfortunately in our communities.
This year, Dr. King could have turned 90 years old, possibly able to address my students and this country himself. Instead, we are left as a community of parents and educators with the responsibility of pursuing his dream and reminded of the “urgency of now.” Each day we have a responsibility to lift our nation from injustice and to stand solid on the rock of brotherhood.
Making a connection to Dr. King’s speech can be difficult for some students, as the pains of our nation’s history seems to be that of a terrible fairy tale or dark legend. Bringing Dr. King to life, reading through his speech, making connections to our world today, and letting it sink in that these atrocities were happening with our parents/grandparents as witness help students identify these truths. Parents and students were encouraged to have conversations at home. Through these conversations a student in our class learned that his grandmother’s principal took part in one of the many civil rights marches during the 60’s and has since been recognized with the state’s “Diversity Award” in 1998! Stories and testimonies like this allow students to be present within the narratives of our country.
We spent the week working through and analyzing one of Dr. King’s most well known speeches, I Have a Dream. Students took notes on a graphic organizer, highlighting portions of the text that embodied Dr. King’s vision for our nation. Check out our work samples below! We thank our Lord for the impact of civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King. He remains another great example of how powerful His love truly is. I pray that He continue to bless our children with courage and strength to stand against inequality like Dr. King, as they are the leaders of our future!
Ms. Emily Goins, Fourth Grade Teacher
Media Use by Tweens and Teens
Youtube, Tik Tok, and Fortnite – Oh my! Entertainment nowadays for tweens and teens is media focused and keeping up to date with the latest and greatest can be daunting. Common Sense Media is a great resource for helping parents, educators, and others remain informed of the day to day changes that technology brings.
Below you will find a few articles and video clips that touch base on a variety of media your student may be utilizing. Both parents and students provide reviews on these medias and more.
Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Fortnite
Parents’ Ultimate Guide to TikTok
Houseparty – Group Video Chat – What kids and parents are saying
Help! My Kid Wants to Use Social Media
Tweens, Teens, and Phones: What Our 2019 Research Reveals