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More Everything: Our Student Leaders

More Everything: Our Student Leaders
Dr. Edna Hussey

In my many years as an educator, one of the benefits has been seeing our students literally grow taller, become more agile, more clever, more verbal, more independent, more everything! From preschool through fifth grade, the changes happen slowly over the year yet quickly when taking in the whole of the elementary experience. At Kids’ Heart Challenge this week, these observations crystallized when I realized so many of the fifth graders assisting our youngest students had once been preschoolers!

In the Learner Profile, with which you’re familiar if you’re Mid-Pacific parents, we have identified the skills, habits, and dispositions we would like all of our students to work towards achieving, for example, having a growth mindset, caring for the environment, making informed decisions. Although not named specifically in the Profile, an important trait is leadership. What does student leadership look like? From my perspective, it’s a willingness to serve others, encouraging others, acting responsibly and respectfully, having a positive attitude, being a good listener.

 

 

 

Our fifth graders demonstrated all of these leadership qualities as they interacted with the preschoolers during the Kids Heart Challenge activities. The older students who paired up with younger students encouraged them how to hula hoop, navigate a scooter board, jump rope, play a relay race using an oversized game board of Connect Four, and balance on a bouncy ball. It was the fifth graders’ patience and gestures of encouragement that made me so proud of them — an abundance of smiles, cheering “you can do it!”, the eye-to-eye contact, and a bright demeanor that won me over as easily as they did with their preschool friends.

As a school tradition, fifth graders become members of the Peace Team and voluntarily give their time at recess to eat with preschoolers and kindergartners and to help the faculty and day supervisors monitor the other grade levels at the recess play areas. They have opportunities to practice and develop their leadership skills. In a memory flash, I could recall many of the fifth graders when they were preschoolers seven or eight years ago. In 2024, they are evolving into student leaders, proving just how capable and confident they can be — and are!

One final shout out to PE Specialist Preston Pires who prepared students in PE classes for Kids’ Heart Challenge. The gym was filled with the high, raw energy of children having the time of their lives engaged in a number of well-organized fitness activities for every elementary student — doing hula hoops, a hula hoop toss using stuffed fish, rope jumping with short and long ropes, shooting baskets, tricks with Chinese jump ropes.

The highlight was the annual “Jump Off” when students, called to the gym floor by grade level, demonstrate their individual rope-jumping stamina. Even faculty and parents joined in with fifth graders. I’m constantly amazed each year by the number of students who practically race to the center of the gym floor to get a rope. No inhibitions! (photo below shows third graders getting a rope). It’s all about giving it a good try. Longest time jumping rope? Nearly seven minutes! Kudos to our parent volunteers who prepared fruit snacks and set up all the equipment in the gym. Parents, thank you for the healthy snack donations, which the students really needed.

 

If you have time, please check out Ms. Abe’s recent blog (Character Education) about how students have taken to heart (quite literally) the practice of showing empathy. Preparations continue for Grandparents’ Day and a school celebration of community on March 8th. Keep reading the weekly myPueo newsletter to stay on top of your child’s learning in all areas of school life.

E Kūlia Kākou! Let’s strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.
Principal

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