Our character defines who we are as individuals.
On Friday, W.S. Harlan second graders got a head start on learning about the main qualities needed to establish a good character – respect.
The project was a collaboration between students in the newly established LBW Community College honors program and the Covington County School Board.
“The interesting thing about the honors program is that it marries together two courses each semester,” said Joli Jones, program instructor. “This semester, it is speech and ethics.”
Jones said the program’s 13 students were challenged to create a character education lesson for school-aged children. Jones said through research, the group determined that children in the first through third grades have the greatest window of absorbing the their lesson.
“This is our first year, so we decided to start out small,” Jones said of the application of the project. “W.S. Harlan is a small school and the second grade is right in the target area.”
Jones said after discussions with WSH Principal Brent Zessin, the group elected to focus on the issue of respect and have developed a whole day of activities and curriculum designed to reinforce the message of applying respect to all aspects of student’s life.
“Respect is a core value,” Jones said. “And research shows that if students don’t get the message by the third grade, they typically don’t get it. Our lessons (on Friday) go to reinforce how respect should factor in.”
WSH students were treated to a puppet show with a message about treating others well; an arts and crafts session and a hopscotch activity, as well as a visit from a Covington County Sheriff’s deputy, the Andalusia Fire Department and Advanced EMS.
“We had those guys come so that they could discuss respect for authority,” Jones said. “It was one of the biggest hits of the day.”
Students were able to get a hands-on experience inside each of the emergency response vehicles.