This month, Charter Corps has been focused on passing on an important message to our students at each of our sites. Now that the school year is in full swing, and with the holidays approaching, we have been talking more and more about the importance of the qualities of acceptance, citizenship, and leadership.
Our team at International Charter School kicked the month off during the weekly school meeting, as the fifth grade Spanish/English class reminded their younger peers of the school’s mission statement: Respect, Responsibility and Dedication. The fifth grade presentation showed that this mission can and should go beyond the context of school. Community is a large part of the International Charter School mentality and it was a joy to see this reflected by the fifth graders, who did so without prompting. They advised their peers on how to follow this mission at home and in their neighborhoods, giving wonderful advice such as being helpful at home and not bothering the neighbors.
At Highlander Charter School, the team shares the sentiment of the ICS mission statement. The team at Highlander focuses many of their after school activities on the mission statement which emphasizes empowerment through social change. One of these activities, Use the Force, talked about how to stand up and lead others by refusing to give in to the “Dark Side” – for them, bullying, unkind words, and rule breaking. Another, Drama Club, gives 4th graders the opportunity to act out skits which touch on issues of acceptance, generosity, and honesty. These and other activities encourage students to become active and responsible citizens of their schools and communities.
While both of these sites celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. day as a reminder of the principles of this great leader, Charter Corps operates under the principle that students can internalize the teachings of MLK to be applied to daily home and school life. Students not only learn about these principles, but are empowered by them. It is through the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. that we choose to leave our mark on our students and our school. We are only here for a year, some of us for two, but after we leave, we hope that our students continue to remember what we taught them – to love their fellow man, to honor and respect each other. Our legacy is, hopefully, a more responsible, well-adjusted generation to come.