Title

Building School Culture Through Cultivating Genuine Relationships

First Presenter's Institution

Carrollton Junior High School

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 5 (Percival)

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

I will show how creating an atmosphere of mentorship and relationship building, a school culture can be easily transformed. At Carrollton Jr. High School, our school leadership has started a small group reading initiative in which the administrators, counselors, and district level personnel spend several morning per week reading novels with select groups of students. We have learned that this time has proven to be extremely valuable in terms of relationship building with students while simultaneously helping to increase the students' capacity to read and comprehend. In addition, We have started our B.R.O.T.H.E.R. mentor group which is designed to empower our young men while helping them to develop their leadership skills. Members are expected to be visible and to represent the organization appropriately at all times. Members must exhibit professionalism and maturity. Academic success and appropriate behavior are non-negotiables. They must participate in at least two community service activities throughout the year. Community service events include an annual canned food drive, school beautification projects, and our school’s recycling program. They are expected to model appropriate dress and behavior for their peers. Lastly, we have launched #ProjectKindess which is a student driven group whose mission is to address social and emotional concern among teens by spreading kindness throughout the school and community is variety of ways.

Brief Program Description

By empowering youth to cultivate their leadership qualities through school and community service, you too can transform your school. Through social interactions with adults and peers, our youth are changing the world one day at a time.

Summary

By leading our faculty and staff by example, our school leaders have to decided to support our Drop Everything and Read initiative by reading novels with small groups of students each. By doing so, we have been able to build solid relationships with some of our most neediest kids as well as the power brokers. We pull our kids twice per week in our respective offices and have read a number of best selling books. Through the books, we have been able to hold rich discussions about issues concerning teens. Also, we have targeted a diverse group of twenty or more male students who have exemplified leadership traits to participate in our B.R.O.T.H.E.R. mentor program. These students have participated in a number of community events and have provided service to their community through several activities such as can food drives and coat collections. Finally, Project Kindness was started as an initiative to spread love and kindness across our school through several mechanisms. For example, a group of students and parents spent a Saturday morning painting kindness quotes and murals in our boys and girls restrooms.

Evidence

Through our efforts we have been able to increase the reading capacity of several students impacted by our small group reading initiatives. Many students have seen significant growth in their reading lexiles based on the Georgia Milestones End of Course Tests. In addition, several students have received individual awards and recognition due to their leadership efforts, and our program have been recognized by our local news paper for their community services efforts.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Travis Thomaston is the principal of Carrollton Jr. High School. He has been in education for over eighteen years. He has served all his years in the Carrollton City Schools System. He received his B.S. in Middle Grades Education, his M.S. of Educational Leadership, and his Ed.S. in Educational Leadership all from the University of West GA in Carrollton, GA.

Keyword Descriptors

leadership, literacy, mentorship

Presentation Year

March 2020

Start Date

3-10-2020 10:15 AM

End Date

3-10-2020 11:30 AM

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Mar 10th, 10:15 AM Mar 10th, 11:30 AM

Building School Culture Through Cultivating Genuine Relationships

Session 5 (Percival)

By empowering youth to cultivate their leadership qualities through school and community service, you too can transform your school. Through social interactions with adults and peers, our youth are changing the world one day at a time.