The early childhood through fourth grade students at Decorah Schools learn social emotional skills through Second Step, a Social Emotional Curriculum; PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports), a school-wide positive behavior management system; along with lots of time and support to review and practice these skills. Their current learning focuses on empathy. Through this work students are learning the importance of helping and caring for others. To support their learning and extend it beyond the school walls, students have been spreading joy throughout the community this holiday season. John Cline students planned a Food Drive for the Northeast Iowa Food Pantry, West Side students collected over $200 through their Coins for Cats (and Dogs!) Coin Drive, and all three schools have been creating holiday cards and decorations for local nursing homes.
In addition, John Cline and West Side families recently had the opportunity to participate in a Joy to the World Family Engagement Project. Since teachers and staff are not able to get together with families in person right now for family events and other activities, they are trying to connect in other ways, including with Make and Take Kits. The Joy to the World kit provided families with a variety of materials to spread joy in the community, including supplies for homemade bird feeders, ornament making materials (one to make and one to give), and supplies to make holiday cards for someone they love.
Now and throughout the year students are doing a wonderful job helping and caring.