Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kids' Korner Honors Role Models

Yesterday, students of the YMCA Kids’ Korner Before and After School Programs at Macdonough School honored the adults that inspire them.

Each child created a special “You Are My Role Model” certificate which included a personalized message and/or picture. The students wrote very appreciative and moving messages to their adult role models that expressed the reasons why they find them important. Attached to the top corner of each certificate was a lapel-button that could be removed and worn by the recipient. The pins are simple black on white and say "I'm Someone's Role Model."

This project started as an assignment from Justin Carbonella of the Middletown Youth Services Bureau. Programs were asked to find a way to visually express some of the "40 Developmental Assets." Search Institute has identified 40 positive experiences and qualities that we all have the power to bring into the lives of children and youth. These "Developmental Assets" represent the relationships, opportunities and personal qualities that young people need to avoid risk behaviors and ultimately develop into healthy adults. Macdonough Kids' Korner chose to begin with asset “#14-Adult Role Models.” As the children started writing their heart-felt messages, it was clear that this project was an important learning experience.

The children have recognized over 30 adults, including their parents, family members and family friends, and several Macdonough School faculty and staff. The recipients’ responses have been overwhelmingly positive. One child’s mother announced that she was going to hang up her certificate at work. One teacher shared, “The role model note brought tears of joy to my eyes. It feels great to know I am appreciated.” Jeremy Hungerford, our school custodian said, “This is just so awesome!” Role Models are now sporting their “I’m Someone’s Role Model” pins on their shirts, and sweaters school-wide. Many others are taking notice of these well-earned accessories.

Other Developmental Assets our Kids’ Korner program will be working on in the upcoming months include #7-Community Values Youth, #33 Interpersonal Competence, and #40 Positive View of Personal Future. On the list of 40 Developmental Assets, “Adult Role Models” may be #14, but today in the North End, it is #1.


Tony Sharillo said...

It's great to read about the positive impact Kids' Korner has on all the tons of kids in the schools. Great work!

PConnelly said...

What a wonderful idea. Kudos to the staff and children in the YMCA Kids Korner program for putting together this great initiative.