Gives Children an Opportunity

A Feb. 12 letter [“Quality Education Is Not Easy” by Erica Gelven] described our schools as bright lights. As a teacher and parent, I know those words to be true in many wonderful ways in Clinton schools. Among my favorites are the bright lights seen in the collaborative programs that take place when several schools get together to accomplish what one school alone couldn’t.

With Peer Puppeteers, students from Eliot Middle School come to Joel Elementary to do puppet shows. The Eliot students operate nearly life-sized puppets that converse about important issues like bullying, modeling for the younger students various ways to handle difficult situations and do the right thing. Additionally, for Three Kings Day in the winter and Sports-athon in the spring, high school students come and help Joel students to get the most out of these special experiences. The Morgan students are always amazed at how tiny the young students’ chairs, desks, and shoes are! And the teachers are impressed with the wonderful young people the Morgan students have become. There’s also Fantastic Friends, a collaboration among students from all four schools, where students from Morgan and Eliot mentor younger students from Pierson and Joel. The older students give up their Friday afternoons to help the younger kids learn how to build relationships. The mentor students feel needed, and the young students thrive on the experience.

Collaboration is such a valuable experience, because it gives children an opportunity to learn to help others and be a community. They learn to sometimes be a giver, not always a taker. This valuable lesson can continue to enrich their lives as they become positive, contributing members of their civic society, willing to invest their time and resources in their community for the common good. They’re learning to be bright lights.

Maria Moran

Published March 04, 2015 – Zip06

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