This is a guest post written by Dr. Chris Harper, Lower School Guidance Counselor.

How is Lower School Implementing the Citizenship and Leadership Initiative?  

This is an increasingly common question lately.  The more informal question is probably something like “How’s that working in LOWER School??”  The answer to both questions is “remarkably well !”   

In Lower School, citizenship and leadership is being intentionally taught in many ways. Tree Talks are dedicated to exploring the values of our Character Tree as well as the Citizen Leader framework which was co-created by talented folks at Ravenscroft and at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in Greensboro.  We explore aspects of the three primary components of the framework not only in these Tree Talks, but also in guidance lessons and in our daily lives here at school. Quarterly “Launch Lessons,” designed and facilitated at every grade level by our teachers, become seminal touchstones for competencies like self-awareness, accountability, cultural inclusiveness, resilience, and motivation.  Both adults and children find ourselves weaving the constructs into lessons and play.

Leading Self (making good personal choices) and Leading with Others (listening to and working with peers and teachers respectfully) make Changing Your World (making a positive difference where you are) possible….and may translate into larger canvases one day. We are all working together to make these concepts so sufficiently clear and ‘real’ that they begin to inform the children’s ideas and actions. This learning happens only partly through ”direct instruction.”  It happens most successfully through experiencing something together and then talking about it.

This “experiential” learning opportunity is something we would like to offer you on Friday, Nov. 15!  Mr. Joel Wright and Mr. Christopher Gergen, lead facilitators with CCL, have agreed to offer parents information AND the kind of experiences our children have.  

Here are the details:

WHO:    All Lower School Parents

WHAT:  Citizen Leader Learning Experience with CCL

WHEN:  Friday, Nov. 15

  • 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. “Just the Highlights” (mostly listening)*

  • 8:45 – 10:00 a.m. “Experiential Extensions” (listening, talking, participating)*

*These two sessions work together, but can attend just one if time is short.

WHERE:  Parents’ Association Room in the Library and Technology Center

WHY:   Learn about the Citizen Leader framework and “how it is working in Lower School”

Questions may be directed to Lower School Leadership or to Colleen Ramsden, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs


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