By Lisa Carolin
On Nov. 18, Beach Middle School’s Leadership Class will present a check to Faith in Action, money the students have raised.
Leadership class is an elective. Students meet daily from 2:15-3:02 p.m. with the goal to understand the value of leadership.
“Leadership class is a big part of my heart, and I really appreciate it,” said teacher Kathryn McCalla. “I want students to understand various aspects of leadership including the values of various personality types and ways of thinking, of being engaged, of getting to know one another well, working as a team, and the value of clear and consistent communication.”
McCalla works with her students on fundraisers, and the students are also required to do service hours.
From Nov. 8-15 the class held a ‘change challenge’. The idea is that each first hour teacher gets a box that kids put change in with the goal to have the most change.
“Kids can ‘bomb’ other boxes with paper money and that subtracts from the overall total,” said McCalla. “This raises a good deal of money and the kids get competitive so it’s fun.”
Students chose Faith in Action as their charity this trimester and met with Executive Director Nancy Paul to learn how the funds they raise will be used. The students held a bake sale and raised more than $650, and raised money with a pie-a-teacher in the face activity during lunch Oct. 21. The Change Challenge is the last component in the fundraising.
“Each fundraiser is spearheaded by an A team and the rest of the class is the B team,” said McCalla. “I am always a part of the B team to provide support, but try to be as hands off as possible doing the work.”
Students are also learning to write resumes, working on “What I Know About Leadership Papers”, and hearing from guest speakers.
“Mrs. McCalla has single handedly changed the culture of our building with the Leadership class,” said Beach Principal Nick Angel. “Students benefit from stepping outside of their comfort zone, working as a member of a team, and acting as the student voice in our philanthropy efforts.”
“I love the class because student ownership is always at the center of what we do,” said McCalla. “Students need measures of control and a voice in things that matter, and we think helping people really matters, and a great Beach climate really does too. So, it’s a win/win for the students and for me every day. They get to make some really cool decisions and do neat projects, and I get to support them.”