What do you get when you bring schools and local organizations together that want to create two-way relationships for the greater good?
Members from the Aurora Rotary Club reached out to Gateway High School and Jewell Elementary School recently with an idea – aptly titled the Peaceful Schools Partnership – that would begin to encourage the younger students to think before they act and deal with their emotions in a healthy manner. Simultaneously, the partnership exuded promise to strengthen the connection between the two feeder schools.
Ten sessions in, the project is taking on a life of its own. Although the partnership started as a focus on second-grade students, Jewell staff plan to introduce the project to first graders in January. Gateway students have helped spearhead the mentoring efforts as well, which include stopping by Jewell regularly to read to their younger counterparts and talk with them about other issues.
“Having an opportunity for our elementary students to interact with high school students and adults from the community who are reinforcing the positive messages we are teaching every day is a difference maker for Jewell,” said Jewell counselor Kimberly Dyer.
The Peaceful Schools Partnership, which also includes support from the YMCA, has taught second graders how to ask themselves four important questions:
- Is it true?
- Is it fair to everyone?
- Will it be good for everyone?
- Will it build friendships?
As highlighted in the APS 2020 core beliefs, community partnerships provide vital resources and opportunities for students and families. The Peaceful Schools Partnership supports this belief and has the potential to help students blossom into true leaders.