These are just three images that depict how school should be so much more than academics. It is relationships, tapping into talents, hobbies and pushing kids to reach personal goals. The image on the top left is of a few students who are part of our Craft Club, 36 members strong with a waiting list of students hoping to get a spot. Creating, crafting, laughing and getting to know other kids who aren’t in their usual circle of friends. The image on the top right is just a small part of our Kindness Club that had 4th graders reading to Kindergarten students. The image on the bottom is a group photo of the 4th and 5th grade girls who are part of our Matzke Fit Girls. These girls have been working towards completing a 5K. They are a diverse group with various physical abilities. They have pushed themselves beyond what they thought they could accomplish and have made new friends along the way.
We have an Awesome Club of 5th grade boys. The goal is to build strong young men and foster relationships that will tie them to school as well as their responsibilities to the community. We have a Glass Slipper group of 4th and 5th grade girls. The goal of that group is to grow confident, respectful young women who will grow to be empowered females who can accomplish anything they set their minds to do.
We have groups that grow our students in the Arts (Honor Choir), into a healthy lifestyle (Fuel Up to Play 60), into leadership positions (Student Council) and into a mentality of acceptance and tolerance (Kindness Club and No Place for Hate Student Coalition). All of these play a huge role in developing a 21st Century learner which in turn grow them in their academics.
Many staff members give up their personal and family time to sponsor these groups. These educators know that it is about so much more than academics and as their principal, I am deeply grateful for that. While the media publishes a “report card” on how each school performs on the state wide assessment and basis student progress/school success on a faulty test; we know the true progress and success of our students. Trust me, it reaches far beyond that silly test.