Over the Connect Charter School’s 25 years of existence we have honored and respected each other, our community, and our nation. We recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, our Flag Team takes great care raising and lowing our schools American flag, and we proudly display our school’s honor code (Trust, Decency and Excellence). We teach a course called Cowboy Ethics and participate in several service projects.
This past fall, we stumbled upon a very powerful program that schools and adults are doing in Sacramento, California. It is called the Values Project and its focus is painting value words in parking spaces in their town. The words were trust, courage, excellence, honesty and other words their community values.
At the Connect School, we don’t just talk, we do, and we do it very well. First we selected 14 value words that fit our school and Pueblo. Then, we bought big stencils, paint, brushes, brooms, measuring tapes, drywall squares, and of course glass beads to make our words sparkle at night.
Each of our Connections classes chose a word. Connections is like a supercharged homeroom. We painted our words in the school’s parking lot. We also painted blue wolf prints everywhere to show our school unity. The words and wolf prints look great.
Then, we used the same stencils to paint our value words on signs, but this time we used fluorescent paint and hung them on our values wall. A big fluorescent light makes them stand out, especially at night.
Finally, each Connections class made a slide show defining their word, using a quote, giving a definition, showing examples, and signing their group picture. We proudly display the slides on our school signage displays.
This is all very powerful because it is a hands-on project and uses a number of visual methods to give impact.
Next year we will paint another parking lot. The District 70 school board has volunteered their parking spaces and eventually we will go to city council to ask them if they would like us to paint one of city government’s many lots.
They will surely accept because who can turn down a bunch of middle school students wanting to do something of value.