Over the last 10 years I’ve served on several committees at my local elementary school. From Character Education, Anti-Bully to Safety and Shared Decision. Spending time engaged with educators, administrators and staff, being plugged in to school culture as well as what facts are being taught.   The kids who are now attending elementary school will be the young adults who replace me in the workforce at retirement, so I take interest in their success.

Essentially beyond the academic goals for the school, they have set internal goals of kindness, respect, ethics and good citizenship. Our meeting last week, the new Reading Initiative was discussed. All the students read the same book, one with a lesson of kindness or respect. The stories, aside from teaching reading skills, lead the students towards experiencing empathy and compassion. Giving the student a common character and language to discuss the issues facing them in life and giving them a safe way to open up and work through their own feelings. They have created a culture of cooperation.

Surrounding myself with these educators (Honoring Maxwell’s Law of the Inner Circle) and being part of this process has helped me grow in my personal and professional life. I get a lot more out of volunteering than I put in.

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