CLAYPOOL — Educators at Claypool Elementary want all their students to feel like they are part of a family. That is why several times during the year the school conducts family group activities.
A family group consists of students from kindergarten through sixth grade. Claypool teachers and staff supervise the meeting time, but sixth grade students lead the activities.
“It is great to see older students, who are not your typical leaders, shine during these group meetings,” said Mandy Bailey, a co-organizer of family groups at Claypool.
The younger children also benefit because they enjoy the extra attention from the older students. All students are encouraged to be good listeners, role models and helpers during their time together.
Every family group meeting begins with a sharing time and has an activity that emphasizes enriching the lives of others. During the month of February, students enjoyed decorating Valentine’s Day wreaths to give to others in the community. The students were challenged to think of someone in need of cheering up or encouragement.
Claypool teacher Michelle Little had many requests to take a wreath. “A student requested a wreath to take to a neighbor battling cancer,” she said. “Another student thought of an ill grandmother who would enjoy a wreath.” Having the students think about others is a huge step toward learning empathy. Family groups stress kindness, caring and enriching the lives of others.
For the February family group meeting, students also shared what they love about Claypool Elementary School. Lunch and recess were popular responses. Several students shared their love for reading, writing and math. However, the most common responses for favorite things included friends, teachers and the school principal.
A family group meeting lasts about 30 minutes.