Congratulations to our 8th grade SOS Peer Leaders! You've had an amazing year, and we hope you take all of your leadership and positive influence with you as you move on to high school. Extra shout outs to Jennifer and Maher, two SOS Peer Leaders, who spoke at the promotion ceremony about their personal struggles and life lessons that they will take away from middle school. Dyuti performed beautifully with the orchestra, sharing her talents (and healthy activity!) with the crowd! And remember....if you want to come back to help us grow SOS next year, we'd love to have all of our 8th graders participate as 9th graders! To our administrators and directors who spoke at graduation, thank you all for highlighting your own challenges that you have overcome and wise words about working hard but more importantly helping others!
Our SOS Team partnered with Team Leaders to host a fantastic end of the year carnival. The carnival featured a variety of fun and healthy activities that allowed students across grades to interact and build friendships. We had large inflatable obstacle courses, face painting, water balloons, basketball and soccer tournaments, and more. Favorite carnival snack, like popcorn, cotton candy, and flavored ice, were enjoyed by all! For the mid-day pep rally, SOS Peer Leaders planned, led, and supervised all the activities! The whole school - staff and students - participated. Musical chairs, mummy wrap races, scooter races, dizzy bat races, blindfolded drawing contests, pie eating contests, and more were met with great applause! Thank you to everyone who helped make this a wonderful day, and extra thanks to all the SOS peer leaders who took on leadership roles to make this happen!
Reminder! SOS Peer Leaders will be in charge of Friday's pep rally! Be sure to wear your tie dyed shirts and come show off your great leadership skills as we plan our last school-wide healthy activity Friday! There will be sing-a-longs, bobbing for M&Ms, name that tune, mummy wraps, basketball competitions, scooter races, dizzy bat competitions, musical chairs, and more!
As a part of our end of the year meeting, students circled through centers to give feedback on how to improve the SOS program for next year and to reflect on their work this year. Below is a brief summary of cheers and changes!
Beginning of the Year Training:
+ Hands on activities
+ Played games
+ Met new people
+ Built positivity
+ Got out of class
^ Make the training in a bigger space
^ Have another training in the middle of the year to keep people motivated
^ Have more activities during training
+ Morning announcements
+ Passes for lunch
+ Cafeteria door
+ Including the location of the meeting
^ Week long morning announcements
^ Keep on same day of the week each month to make it easier to remember
^ Meeting dates on a bulletin board
^ Email PRIDE teachers to ask to remind students
^ Passes before 7th period
^ Hang poster with meeting reminder
^ Write in student organizers
^ ConnectEd message
^ Notification apps (Remind App) or program in cell phone
^ Increase the number of lunch and after school meetings
^ Have less games during lunch. Keep it for after school.
+ Fall Pep Rally and Tie Dyed shirts were the favorites
^ Increase number of people participating
^ Quarterly pep rally and one after PARCC :)
^ Invite a friend to meet more people
HUGE thank you to all the students and staff who made this a great year! Here's to next year being even better!
Check out what our awesome Peer Leaders had to say about their work this year with SOS!
I engaged and led campagins to help Lee have better positive mental health. The students at Lee needed my support. Students struggle to make friends or need someone to cheer them up. I learned that I can be a people-person and I work well with people. - A.M.
In SOS, we worked on a lot of "projects" to spread good positivity. I helped in putting together the "projects." I realized the privileges I have and how I should be more thankful. The whole entire SOS experience was based on school and what we can do to make it a better experience. - D.K.
We learned about being leaders not only for ourselves but also for our peers. The problem was that our peers might've been going through things so we gave them advice about it. I think our peers benefited, but so did we. We all benefited because we learned ways to be a leader. I learned that I AM a leader! I can help people and give them advice. - T. N.
As a SOS leader, I:
- Helped encourage other students to help each other and be positive leaders
- Made others feel happy
- Learned that little things I do can help a lot
- Learned that being a leader to help out our school takes a lot of creativity
- K. L.
In SOS I shared my thoughts and learned new stuff from 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. I have gotten closer to staff and my everyday teachers. - E. B.
I helped prepare campaigns with positive messages that motivated kids in the school. This served an emotional need for kids, as middle school is tough. The students benefited and so did the teachers because happier students are probably easier to teach. I learned I am a positive peer leader and have good ideas...It made me happy that a teacher thought highly enough of me to be a part of this program. - A. H.
As a SOS leader, I:
- helped other students to become better leaders
- made others feel happy
- helped our teachers
- learned the little things are what count
- T. R.
In SOS, I spread the message of kindness through campaigns. We helped everyone who was sad or down. Everyone benefited from our service. I learned about mental health. - J. C.
I helped my school have a positive mindset throughout the year. We improved peer interaction and safety in school. I learned that I can help others be happy and successful. This experience was really fun! - A. S.
In SOS we helped promote positive ideas to the school. I learned I could help others who need help. We helped create a better environment which might have lead to better academics. - J. A.
As a SOS leader, I:
- helped around school with various activities
- willingly helped teachers
- learned I am really good at helping others even if I'm not necessarily up for it
- F. T.
We helped kids who might have self-esteem issues know that they have a friend and gave others confidence to do things they normally wouldn't. - T. D.
I cam to do a lot of stuff, like making the tie dye shirts. And we did a lot of activities that included the school. SOS is peer interaction, safety, suicide prevention, and being students at school that you could ask for help....before I didn't ask for help and now I do. - T. F.
We did a lot of activities that had to do with mental health and positive healthy activities...We got to think about our mental health in ways we usually wouldn't - E. I.
I learned that I can manage stress well. - S. A.
On Tuesday we had our last official SOS meeting of the year! The weather finally cleared, and we were able to hold our meeting outside in the beautiful sunshine! We played a favorite SOS game (Walk Around Cool!) with peer leaders at the helm. Students enjoyed celebratory snacks before reflecting on their work with SOS this year. We sought input on our initial training, meetings, communication, campaigns, and even nominations for next year's participants. At the end, we honored our peer leaders for their contributions and work this year!
Students will be continuing their work with Mr. Fetherman and Ms. Tropea to lead the end of the year pep rally. They have carefully chosen healthy, fun activities to build peer relationships across grade levels. The pep rally will be on June 17th, and all SOS members are encouraged to wear their tie dyed SOS shirts! See you there!
One last reminder - SOS forms are due TUESDAY May 31st at the very latest! Turn them in to Ms. Burgos's desk in the front office!
One of the SOS goals this year was to bring awareness to the school and community about the Source of Strength program and the 8 different strength areas. The students came up with the idea of creating tie dyed shirts as a spring campaign to help increase awareness.
And although it was a lot of work, coordination, and creativity - we did it! Thanks to everyone who helped us with this adventure! We tie dyed almost 70 shirts after school together. And super big thanks to Mr. Hull for helping coordinate the materials, letting us use his room, and for providing all the extra supplies!
There are now fabric markers available during lunch for students to bring in their shirts to decorate with SOS themes. In particular, students are encouraged to bring their shirts on Mondays and Thursdays.
The group also engaged in a circle reflection about ways they are "lucky" and "fortunate." Students shared wonderful reflections on their positive friendships, supportive family members, educational opportunities that other students in the world do not have, opportunities to spend time together, and being a part of the wonderful Lee community!
REMINDER: We will be tie dying our shirts after school Tuesday! Be sure to wear or bring old clothing. We don't want to ruin your nice clothes with dripping dye!
See you TUESDAY in Mr. Hull's room!
We met today to reflect on our locker campaign, prepare for our last campaigns of the year, and play a fun game together.
Overwhelmingly, students reported that our positive locker note campaign was a great success! Check out the summary of our reflection discussion below. After every campaign, staff and students complete a reflection sheet to help recognize the positive outcomes, problem solve challenges, and inform future plans!
Our next meeting will be TUESDAY MARCH 15TH right after school. We will be tie dying t-shirts - so if you can wear old clothing, it would be helpful! We are hoping to increase the visual reminders for staff and students of the SOS work around the school and community.
After that, we have only 4 meetings left for the year! We are going to begin wrapping up our last campaigns and start planning for next year!
SOS Peer Leaders and Adult Advisors along with Lee staff, Ms. Mika's class, and Ms. Boveja's class created over 800 positive locker notes over the last few months! On February 17th, the SOS team put a positive note on every student's locker - and even some staff member's doors! When Lee Cougars returned to school on Thursday morning, they were greeted with a building full of positive messages. Ms. Hayden Williams explained the campaign on the morning announcements and encouraged students to remember the positives - even on tough days - and to spread positive thinking throughout the school community. The notes were well received by students and staff - and even inspired staff to exchange messages with each other! As luck would have it, our campaign also coincided with National Kindness Day! We encourage everyone to take a moment to send a positive note along - it's amazing how such a small and simple act can brighten someone's day!
Kimberly Hayden Williams
Special Education Teacher: James Frazier