L.E.A.P. 8th Grade Leadership Retreat & 7th Grade Pay It Forward

Years ago, the Junior High School embarked on a mission to re-create, re-frame, and re-purpose advisement in our middle-school division. To make a long, and wonderful, story short, we re-crafted the backbone of advisement to provide a spine of leadership development. Sixth grade focuses on the “intrapersonal” aspects of leadership, seventh grade focuses on the “interpersonal” aspects of leadership, and the eighth grade focuses on the “extrapersonal” aspects of leadership. Because leadership, at its core, is really about service and interdependency – not egocentric, authoritarian independence – the entire program maintains shape thanks to the glue of service learning and project-based group initiatives. We call the entire scope and sequence “L.E.A.P.” – the Leadership Experience Advisement Program. What follows are two brief slices of time for pieces of the seventh-grade LEAP program and the eighth-grade LEAP program.

7th Grade LEAP Day: Pay It Forward

Yesterday, our seventh grade participated in a LEAP day called “Pay It Forward.” Here is a copy of the email summary and thanks that our grade chairs sent:

Many, many thanks to you all for all that you did to make Tuesday such an amazing experience for our seventh graders. I have received positive feedback from many of the students and faculty members. Thanks so much for the time and effort you all put into the day…here’s what we all accomplished together:

1070 sandwiches made for Atlanta Union Mission
18 canvases touched up for Hospital Art
$4,000 in coins rolled for Habitat for Humanity
Two new beds planned and created in our on-campus garden
Over 30 large trash bags (and a wallet) collected in campus clean up
175 letters written to the troops serving our country to be sent by the USO
103 cheerful artwork pieces created and laminated for people in assisted living facilities
17 double sided fleece blankets created for the Atlanta Union Mission

Impressive! It would not have happened without each one of you…so thanks! And please, as always, send along any feedback or ideas for the next go ’round!

James and Jan

Below is a short iMovie* of one of the initiatives – Hospital Art:

8th Grade LEAP Retreat – A Double Overnight at Blue Ridge Assembly

In eighth grade, our LEAP program is threaded with aspects of the NAIS 20/20 project – the 20 biggest global issues to be addressed in the next 20 years. Over the course of the academic year, our eighth-grade advisories take on a global issue and address it with a local project. For several years, we made the pilgrimage to Blue Ridge Assembly in February, and the trip involved a lot of indoor project planning. Since the last retreat, the grade chairs and deans and advisors decided to change the retreat to early November so that the advisory groups could focus on team building and interdependent leadership…in order to establish a stronger foundation for the project planning and implementation that will occur next in the multi-phase advisory plan.

Our leadership retreat involves a number of adventure-based, challenges or initiatives. You can peruse a set of initiative descriptions through the embedded Scribd document, and you can view a 13:00 iMovie* showing highlights of the retreat.

[*NOTE: iMovie video effects have been added to the movies because of a new school policy about student images on faculty blogs.]

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