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Students Take The Lead As Grant Projects Progress

A mid-year check in on Innovation Grant teams

students standing with signs and survey data

By design, students throughout Campbell Union School District are stepping up to make a difference at school. Through the Innovation Grant program, 10 student teams are using the design-thinking process to generate and implement their innovative ideas. This year, the teams’  ideas are responding to feedback from the district’s survey data: how to build a sense of belonging within their schools and instill more pride in keeping the campus clean.  

“We believe in empowering students to take ownership of their education and school experience,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “When we provide them with real-world challenges, our students see the connections to what they learn in school and that they have the ability to make a difference in their everyday lives.”

Today, we drop in on the progress at two schools.

Blackford’s Student Voice & Choice Lunch Clubs: The group’s challenge was to find ways for students to have more fun at recess with opportunities to practice and spread kindness. With support from teacher Megan Delaye, they polled their classmates and created two clubs: a craft club for making friendship bracelets, and a soccer club for those who wanted to learn and enjoy the game. The clubs meet weekly and the grant pays for supplies and equipment.

group of boys and girls shake hands before a soccer gameOn the first day of soccer club, fourth grade club leader Gabriel D. said clubs are making a difference. “I see people being more kind to each other,” he said. Co-leaders Ava C. and Fabian D. agreed, adding that they like helping kids learn soccer skills, sportsmanship, and seeing both girls and boys playing the game together.

two boys, one girl one female teacher all holding soccer ballsTo know if their efforts are successful, students will gather data through observations and future survey data to see if there are better results in the area of kindness.

Photos: (1) Students shake hands before beginning a scrimmage on the first day of soccer club.  (2) Soccer club leaders stand with teacher Megan Delaye.

elementary children standing with female teacherLynhaven’s “Kindness Rocks”: Spreading kindness is a schoolwide endeavor for this student team. To reinforce the idea that each student has the power to create a positive school climate, classes of students are painting “kindness rocks” with messages and images about friendship, caring, empathy, and sharing. Later this spring, the rocks will be hidden around campus as part of a scavenger hunt activity that will engage students in collaborative problem-solving.

close up of girl using paintbrush to pain a rock“When students feel connected and proud of their school, they gain a sense of ownership that leads to a range of positive behaviors and improved academics,” said Teacher Erin Lewis.

Photos: (1) Teacher Erin Lewis (center) stands amid groups of students during a rock painting activity. (2) A student paints a rock with a caring message and images

Next week, we will check in on the teams from Sherman Oaks, CSI, and Rosemary.

Cover photo: Lynhaven students Noor A., Leovanni R., and Toby H. presented their idea and research at the second annual Innovation Grant Pitchfest in November.