Because it is our mission to provide an excellent school program in which children are able “To increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man;” we teach our students that we increase in favor with our fellow man by serving our community and making a difference as Jesus did. We teach the importance of not only learning to get along, but to give back to your community as well.
Social growth can't be quantified like academic achievements, mere numbers aren't enough to communicate the change that our students experience by being on a campus where everyone knows your name and high-fives are frequently shared. We invite you to come experience it for yourself by visiting our campus! Here are some of the many ways our students are growing socially:
We teach our students that being an assertive communicator can help us be healthy and happy. In most situations a win-win outcome can be achieved when children and adults speak and work assertively together. At the beginning of the school year our staff explicitly teaches these three communication styles and models each for the students. We hold whole school assemblies in which students get to role play these different styles, learn to identify hallmarks of each one, and practice responding in an assertive manner. Teaching these skills helps children know that they can stand up for themselves appropriately, improve their overall social interactions, and increase their own ability to be healthy and happy
One of the earliest skills introduced during the school year is learning to get along with others and how to assertively practice conflict resolution to encourage win-win outcomes for all students. At AJA we have a Kindness Counts Anti-bullying Campaign based on the Olweus bullying prevention program. In this program the definition of bullying is: "A person is bullied when he is exposed repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and she has difficulty defending herself."
This definition includes three important components:
1.) Bullying involves unwanted, negative actions
2.) Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time
3.) Bullying involves an imbalance of power
Bullying is not teasing. It might be hard to tell the difference between playful teasing and bullying. Teasing usually involves two or more friends who act together in a way that seems fun to all they people involved. Often they tease each other equally, but it never involves physical or emotional abuse. The three components above are not found in teasing situations.
If you have questions about how AJA teaches and manages our Kindness Counts campaign, I encourage you to talk with our school principal. We believe that our Luke 2:52 is "Mission Possible - Super friends."
We believe that learning to be of service to others is important. In our beginning grades this looks like helping our fellow classmates, families, and school staff. Often the students will write notes of encouragement to our area pastors and create pictures to share with people in our community. As our students grow they serve others by helping to keep our community neat and tidy, showing appreciation to our local first responders, and volunteer to help elderly in our community with yard work and other projects.
AJA also participates in several fundraisers for good causes including the American Heart Association's Jump for Hearts Challenge and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Pennies for Patients.
We are always looking for more ways to be of service. If you know of a worthy cause or individual in our community that we may be able to help with a project please give us a call.