Yesterday, the United Way of the National Capital Area Team serving at Kelly Miller Middle School had the honor of creating, planning and hosting the first ever kmLEAD. In this project-based twist to behavior coaching, our lunch club students identified an issue or problem in the school community, analyzed the situation, collected data and synthesized creative solutions to their issues.

This process took place over many weeks, and culminated yesterday with an after-school “idea fair.”

We felt great pride as we watched our students explain and defend their ideas to everyone from the school principal to their core teachers, and to students they had never met. Many lunch club students are regularly redirected for speaking out of turn or disrespectfully in class. Through kmLEAD, they were invited to use those strong voices to instead speak out as positive advocates for the future of Kelly Miller. They rose to the challenge with poise, self-control and a compelling energy that only comes from truly believing in one’s vision.

BntH8WnCQAAvrjM.jpg-largekmLEAD reminded everyone involved of the transformative power of young people. Although the projects covered a broad range of topics (uniforms, recess, school lunch, educational computer games, a possible school , among many others), the overarching message was clear: our students can and do reflect critically on the world around them. Given the right tools and opportunities, our students have the power to transform their communities.

photo-7kmLEAD reminded all of us of the potential that is locked away in our students. In their second-to-last week of service, our school got to witness a powerful moment of potential unlocked and transformed into action.


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