Cool to be Kind
By Jerome Murphy
Head of School
The Academy at Ocean Reef
Middle school students at work.
Following the wonderful opening weeks of school at The Academy at Ocean Reef that brought much joy to our children and parents’ faces, we now look forward to engaging and developing our students’ minds, bodies and hearts during the school year ahead.
As we continue to develop strong future moral leaders at The Academy, we recognize the importance of teaching good citizenship and promoting kindness in the development of our students’ character. To that end, we are excited to engage Academy students in a character education program that will be based, in large part, on a set of seven common values we hold dear at The Academy.
Courage, Commitment, Compassion, Honesty, Respect, Kindness, and Leadership
With the help of The Academy’s new School Counselor, Meghan Ryan, and the collaboration of our Academy staff, we are poised to devote a month of study to each value over the course of the school year. Starting in October, Academy students will be introduced each month to learning about one of the seven values. During that time students will engage in a variety of discussions and hands-on activities, introducing them to the meaning of each value, why it’s important, how it is practiced (OR) what it looks like in action, and celebrating the value when we see it in action.
Our staff met over the last few weeks to come to a consensus on how we define each value in a way that encompasses all of its meanings and can be delivered as a “lesson” to students in user-friendly and age appropriate ways. Our staff then convened over several meetings to determine the most effective activities to engage their students in these value’s based discussions.
Recognizing the importance of celebrating students who model and practice these values, we look forward to identifying and awarding at a school assembly each month a special certificate to a student from each grade cohort who best exemplifies the monthly value. It will be cool to be kind!
As echoed by some of our Academy students,
“Our teachers teach us how to be good people, and they care very much about enforcing the rules and being respectful towards others.”
(Jake Davis Gr 8);
“The faculty and teachers care about our future and about how we strive to be better people.”
(Kameron Holman Gr 8)
“Coming to The Academy taught me to be grateful and always consider other people’s feelings.”
(Isabella Vasquez Gr 8)
For our readers here, if you have a story to share related to one of The Academy’ seven values, we invite you to come in and impart your wisdom to our young, curious, and ever so eager learners! Please contact me at your convenience: email@example.com.
Your support of the All Charities Weekend strengthens entities, like The Academy, that enhance Ocean Reef Club’s Unique Way of Life and enables the Ocean Reef Community Foundation to provide for thousands in Key Largo, Homestead and Florida City. Call 305-367-5996 to learn more.
Featured above: The Kindergarten and Grade 1 class.