Students at Meeker Elementary are using some of their free time to make an impact on the culture of their school through the building’s new Little Cyclone Captains initiative. The student leadership program provides students with opportunities throughout the day to have a positive platform to lead and be a captain for kindness.
Each day, captains serve as greeters (who are called “morning sprinkles”) at the front door to provide a welcoming smile as students enter. Captains also take time during their day to write kind notes to other students. They often come in during their recess time, pick from a pile of student names from across all grade levels, and write notes of encouragement or inspiration. These notes are then placed in the student’s cubbies by School and Family Counselor Kari Deal to serve as a pleasant surprise. She has noticed that many notes remain in their cubbies for weeks at a time.
“I love that this initiative provides any child the opportunity to do something during the school day that is not strictly academic. They are able to make a difference through a social and emotional lens, and this initiative has allowed students to establish and strengthen their relationships with each other,” said Deal. She has noticed that this initiative has drawn interest from students who do not often gravitate toward leadership. “A couple kids were really interested about the opportunity and they would come in and hang out and join in the activities.” Their involvement has helped establish a positive connection with the school and extend their network of friends throughout the building.
Students submitted applications to be a captain, and the response was greater than the teachers and staff would have expected. Students and teachers are excited to continue the captains program next year at Meeker Elementary.