I promised updates on how our kids have fared post-Challenge Day, and here's your first update...today was our first Be The Change Team meeting! We had about 60 kids show up for our "picnic" in the gym during lunch (that is half the 8th grade class!). Now, I know that the numbers may not stay this high, but I am thrilled that this many are feeling positive one week after Challenge Day has passed. Our timeline (per the CD organization) has you take about a week to get back on your feet and get the group together, basically to give the kids time to settle and for us coordinators to meet with any students in crisis. So far, we are on task. I've not heard much feedback from the students so far, so when we asked the group to take a minute to check in with a partner and talk about how they're doing before checking in with the group, I was so touched. The students told us that they've noticed less bullying, less drama, more togetherness than before CD. They understand that CD is not going to work a miracle, and that they are going to be the agents of change in the school. Hearing that almost moved me to tears. These kids totally rock! We left the meeting with kids divided up into smaller teams-daily challenge teams, an "Acts of Change" bulletin board team, a Be The Change week team, even one to review our code of conduct and meet with administration to see if any changes need to be made.
Challenge Day is a program that doesn't come in to "fix" your kids. It is one that comes in and reminds them that at their core, they're all human beings. They're all the same. It helps to awaken the desire for them to start making positive changes within themselves, their school, their communities and their lives. Today lifted me up and reminded me just why I do what I do...because I get to spend every day working with such awesome and awe-inspiring kids.