Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Panther P.A.L.s (Peers as Leaders)

At a district counselor meeting during the fall semester, a wonderful colleague of mine mentioned a peer leadership program that she has with her students.  I was thrilled with this awesome idea and wanted to replicate it on my campus!

The special program, "Panther P.A.L.s" (Peers as Leaders) was introduced to the fourth graders as an opportunity to show leadership and volunteering on our campus.  I sent a letter of explanation and application home with each of our fourth graders.  (I chose fourth grade since our fifth graders have the opportunity to join Student Council)  Since this was my first year to have a program of this nature, I just couldn't say no and accepted all students who applied, who also met the application requirements.  To date, we have over 35 students who are Panther P.A.L.s!

At our first meeting, the students wrote their name on sticky notes and selected various committees:
*helping teachers
*working with students
*mentoring students
*performing Random Acts of Kindness on campus
*No Place for Hate Committee

These students have volunteered to either help a teacher before or after school and/or during their RECESS time!  I know!  AWESOME!

Some Panther P.A.L.s also have the distinct honor of working with a peer either as a tutor or a peer mentor through our M&M Time (Mentor & Me Time) program.

The Panther P.A.L.s and I meet during their lunch times as a group on several occasions in order to establish roles for the students, expectations for the roles, and to award each P.A.L. with a "HERO bracelet" from Positive Promotions.  Each Panther P.A.L. has a special lanyard with a badge identifying him/her as a P.A.L. The children wear these lanyards when they are performing their specific duties as a P.A.L.

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