Recent visitors to Calvin Christian School may be excused for wondering if our school has instituted an architectural program. There has been a lot of talk in the hallways and classrooms about Steel Beams. The Steel Beams everyone is talking about are not physical structural features, however, but a new leadership program.
Steel Beams is an acronym for Student Teams Excitedly Engaging in Leadership Because Every Action MatterS. This initiative provides students from grades 4 to 8 with an opportunity to practice leadership skills by participating in a wide variety of activities that contribute to school life. Just as we have steel beams all around the building that are integral to the structure, so too the leadership that the students provide is necessary for the smooth functioning of our school body. Some of our actual steel beams are easily visible, while others are hidden away. In the same way, some of our Steel Beams teams will be doing work that is public, while others will be doing their crucial work behind the scenes.
The Steel Beams program is intended to provide students with an opportunity to practice not only leadership skills but also job skills. Students learned about the program in an assembly in late September, and were invited to peruse the “job listings” of the 44 Steel Beams teams. Each listing indicated the desired skills, the age requirements, the time commitment, and the number of positions available. Students filled out applications for up to 4 teams, explaining why they wanted to join and what skills they would bring to the team. The Steel Beams Committee sorted the applications and passed them on to team leaders, who selected as many students as they needed. In the end, every student who applied was chosen for at least one team and most teams had enough applicants to fill each position.
The Steel Beams teams provide for a broad range of engagement. There are students who will be planning seasonal spirit events while others are part of the advertising team which will be creating posters and brochures to promote those events. Some students give up part of their recess once a week to help in the Jubilee, SK and Grade 1 classes, either helping the students get ready to go outside, or doing some tasks in the classroom to help the teachers. Students participate in weeding the gardens, tidying the library, tying skates in the winter, and reading the morning announcements over the intercom. Keep an eye on this website, as there is also a group of students who will be sharing student news and producing blog posts on a regular basis.
It is our hope that students and staff alike will benefit from Steel Beams. While students develop their leadership and work skills, they also provide valuable assistance to the staff. Staff members have the opportunity to train, supervise, and get to know a different group of students. As they serve CCS, students will also develop a greater sense of responsibility for themselves, those around them, and the physical school environment. At the end of the year, we will celebrate the students’ contributions during our annual awards assembly. Each student will receive a certificate with stickers representing their Steel Beams and other extra-curricular involvement. Students will be able to ask any of their Team Leaders for a letter of reference when applying for a volunteer or employment opportunity, now or in the future.
If you are the parent of a CCS student, please ask your child(ren) about their Steel Beams positions. Encourage them to serve with glad hearts and with commitment. Each one is needed to keep CCS strong.
~S. Vander Meulen (Website Blogger Team Leader)