Getting Creative in Leadership Class

Mrs. Laura Fagan, Middle School teacher, has some strong leaders in her Leadership and Service Learning course. The class, comprised of seventh and eighth grade students, learns about leadership traits and is charged with putting their skills into action. Since virtual learning started, the class has been busy and creative!
Only nine days into virtual instruction, the class has:
  1. Sent care letters to residents of a community nursing home to brighten their days while visitation has been suspended
  2. Planned and are creating socio-emotional wellness videos to share with the MVA community
  3. Designed hero tributes to express gratitude and celebrate COVID-19 heroes 
The students drive the course, and in that way, there is a high level of ownership and engagement. Ideas for service are chosen from discussing and diagnosing areas of need within and outside of the MVA community using teacher-created planning tools and feedback. Once an area of need is identified, students rally to form a committee which then drafts a service project pitch that includes a project vision statement and an execution timeline with chronological action-items. The young leaders are coached in and use the steps of project planning to move their vision and plan to action. At the end of a project, the students engage in reflection and collect evidence of their positive impact which is one primary objective of the course.
“The students’ drive to continue to spread positivity and carry-out service to others, remotely from their own homes, inspires me and showcases the heart and vision of the Leadership course,” said Mrs. Fagan. “When we began fourth quarter after spring break, they were brimming with ideas for remote service learning. Microsoft Teams and the features of Canvas equip me to virtually provide the same instruction, coaching and feedback that was taking place in my brick and mortar classroom.”
Student feedback about the class has been positive. “To me these at home projects are the ultimate testimony not only to our commitment to this course and what it means to be a leader but our own growth as individuals to being able to make an impact away from the classroom to those people around us,” said Lenny Polcaro, eighth-grade student.
“These projects we have been doing during quarantine have really showed me that there is so much we can do as a team to improve and help our community,” said Venus Robinson, eighth-grade student. “Our goal is to help others and do the best we can to comfort them. The projects have taught us that there is always a good side to a bad situation. Making this video and letters have inspired me, and helped me grow into a better person, knowing that people will benefit from what we are doing.”
"Our leadership and service could not be stopped,” said Oliver Dixon, eighth-grade student. “We sent letters to nursing homes to help spread some joy and fill the void of loneliness. We still found a way to carry out our services virtually.”
We look forward to seeing more of what these young leaders will accomplish!