Sunday, September 15, 2013


At the mention of the word "role model," what comes to mind.  Perhaps you see religious figures like Mother Theresa or the Pope.  Maybe celebrities, athletes, or world leaders come to mind.  Or perhaps people closer to home enter your brain:  moms, dads, teachers, preachers, grandparents, family friends, coaches, or youth group leaders.  Here's what's app had to say--which shows it can be just about anybody:

It was along those lines that Eagle Cove School's "R.O.L.E. Model" program was created this summer by our science teacher and a professor friend of his.  Why?  To tie together Eagle Cove's commitment to environmental stewardship with community citizenship. (Not to mention, tying with basic tenets in our school promise, song, and mission statement.)  This year, we are actively looking for and celebrating student role models at school.  "R.O.L.E" stands for "Respect for Others, all Living things, and the Environment."
The purpose?  To inspire students to take action, make decisions & good choices, and show leadership in positive ways by helping out their community--in big and small ways.  During our Friday "Morning Meetings," we are taking a moment to honor and celebrate the kindness and accomplishments of others who have done something positive for their peers and community.

Our first R.O.L.E. Model recipient:  Lennon.  

Lennon was attending a local day care program this summer while his folks went to work. On the first day of his summer there, he came home a bit bummed that they didn't recycle like he was accustomed to at Eagle Cove.  So he talked to his folks, who contacted me, about ways he could bring more recycling to the summer program.  I loaned them a handful of eco books like Michael Recycle that he could share with the kids at the center.  Then, Lennon shared with them how Eagle Cove School recycles juice pouches (like Capri Suns) through Terracycle.  He even did some digging around on the Terracycle website with his family to learn about how it works.  He set up a bin for recycling, and voila!  They were in action!

As can happens in real life, the momentum dwindled after awhile, and Lennon discovered how hard it can be to be one fella trying to save the world.  But in the same respect, he discovered what one person CAN do.  He created a "Recycling Robot" costume with a myriad of recyclables he had inspired the group to collect.  He brought the juice pouches to school to add to our upcycling collection. On the costume, he included this sign (which is a tad hard to read when the picture is enlarged, so here is the text):

"One Goddard School collected 182 recyclables in one week.  There are 385 Goddard Schools in America.  If all of the Goddards collected trash over the summer, in total there would be 840,840 pieces collected.  182 x 12 x 385 = 840,840."
This completely answers the question:  "I'm only one person?  What can one person do?"  Clearly, if every one person did something, collectively, we'd be doing a lot!!

Lennon exemplified what it means to be a role model.  He was completely worthy of earning our first R.O.L.E. Model medallion of honor!
Will every month bring about big ideas like this?  Maybe, maybe not.  But, again, little actions, just like the pebble thrown in still water, can create many ripples. Back to that one person idea again:  we can make a lot of ripples in that water if everyone gets busy and works toward making the world (or our school community) a better place!
For added inspiration (and a bit of "on campus marketing"), here are some of the R.O.L.E. Model posters my class created to help inspire the school community to be role models.  We used school iPads and the Motivational Poster app to create these posters and will be hanging them around school this week.
May the ripples of role model-making begin! 
Special thanks to Lennon's folks for letting me share his story, which is also now a great ECS story!!

Images taken at ECS school highlighting Lennon's project, with the inclusion of's screenshot of the app's definition of "role model."

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