Upper left: Tei Street encourages girls at Walnut Springs to be strong. Upper right: Roy Hall challenges Heritage boys to be responsible. Lower left: Genoa boys learn to tie ties. Lower right: Blendon girls engage in teambuilding.
Westerville Education Challenge, the same community organization that brings Challenge Day to high schools in the Westerville City School District, recently co-sponsored the first ever Middle School Empowerment Summit. During the month of September, teachers and administrators created a series of groupthink and hands-on activities so students could participate in daylong Empowerment Summits at Blendon, Genoa, Heritage, and Walnut Springs middle schools.
Pupils were challenged to work together to help build a positive school culture. Keynote speakers – the “Amazing” Tei Street of StreetTalk and Roy Hall of Driven Foundation – delivered inspirational messages to instill values of honesty, integrity, personal responsibility, high self-esteem, and perseverance. Youngsters were asked to describe an ideal middle school climate and examine their own personal character. The program was designed to build relationships among students and teachers.
This was the first time the district held Empowerment Summits for all four middle schools. The initiative stems from the M.O.D.E.L. (Mentors Opening Doors, Enriching Lives) mentoring program, as well as ideas that came out of the Middle School Redesign Process. “We are pleased to bring this experience to our students and thank everyone involved, particularly the teachers and Westerville Education Challenge, for making this day possible,” said Cynthia DeVese, who organized the events, along with Tami Santa.