Success Story: Instilling Core Values through Play

At Peterson Elementary we are striving to help each child demonstrate success in our three core values: Cultural Ambassadors, Community Leaders and College Graduates. With the help of Urban Initiatives’ curriculum, we were able to create a new guide for the children to grow into our core values. For the first time at Peterson we have created a Recess Student Advisory Committee. This committee is dedicated to shaping our middle school students into recess leaders. These students will be getting trained to become facilitators for their younger peers during recess to help run games, as well as  create a smaller environment for those students who need more individualized attention to achieve their potential.

The group will become liaisons for the students to the school by helping to establish what the children want to play, but more importantly how the social atmosphere at recess could improve for the community. Each morning one of the members will join Coach Z in a morning energizer with a different class, K–2. The members will also switch their recess and lunch schedule. This provides them with an opportunity to sit and eat lunch with our younger students to model proper lunch behavior, and also facilitate conversations in a positive manner. The students will then go to recess with either Kindergarten or third and fourth grade depending on the day. At recess the students will help run games by leading by example in playing properly, while also gaining real experience at how to defuse arguments.

At Peterson we are using the Power of Play to not only teach children how to be positive at recess, but also to become leaders at recess. This committee will allow students to become Captains at recess and create a safe, fun and inclusive environment for their peers. All students will benefit from peer leadership, and the Captains will gain a sense of ownership and leadership in the community. With the help of Play with Potential we are now able to infuse the beliefs of UI with the core values of Peterson!

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