Community is near and dear to all of us here at Kenowa Hills. Our students believe this as well and it is shown daily in their initiatives to make their local, and global, communities a better place. Often, it’s our classes and clubs that community leadership gains interest. As students explore their coursework and participate in extracurricular activities, they gain an understanding of modern-day issues and begin to initiate activities that will make an impact on those issues. Our teachers and staff are always thrilled to provide the support and empowerment to let students lead community initiatives.
And it shows.
In the past couple of years, our students have plunged into a wide range of causes in Michigan and around the world. In our 2016-2017 school year alone, we had our social studies classes take up posters and strap on their shoes for the Kenowa Hills Freedom Project, a one-day event where students ran or walked laps around our outdoor track to raise money for and awareness of modern-day slavery. Our Knights’ Lights anti-bullying club worked with other Kenowa Hills students to produce anti-bullying photo-shoots, videos, presentations, and discussions for a motivational speaker’s “Enough is Enough” campaign. A craft sale run by the Global Warriors, a middle-school group inspired by CNN’s Freedom Project, worked to raise $5,000 to support Grand Rapids-based nonprofit SowHope’s efforts to aid Syrian women refugees in Jordan.
With all these great things that our students have accomplished, Kenowa Hills is more determined than ever to keep our focus on building the leadership skills that help them go forth and bring knowledge and change to their communities. We think it’s never too early to learn these critical skills, or too late to keep building on them.
That’s why fourth and fifth graders at Alpine Elementary learn to become student leaders with our Alpine Leadership Club, a student council whose members act as leaders during recess and help with events like penny wars, food drives, assemblies, and popcorn sales. It’s why we’ve gone beyond staples like student council to offer high school students national programs meant to foster leadership capabilities not just for academic purposes and future careers, but for their communities.
And it’s why our mission statement is to ensure all students acquire the academic and practical skills, knowledge, and commitment to succeed in a global society.