The students wrote persuasive letters to colleges all over the country to request information about their programs and services they offered to students. As a Leader in Me school, Crab Orchard students learn about the seven habits that will help lead them to a successful and happy future. One of those important habits is to Begin with the End in Mind. If you begin with the end in mind you set goals for yourself and take the necessary steps to accomplish those goals.
One goal COES students had was to someday attend college. All the students knew what year they will graduate high school and each classroom “adopted” a college to help educate and prepare them about what will be expected when they attend college. They celebrated their adopted college each month with different activities like wearing the college colors, learning the college fight song, and decorating the classroom door.
As part of their college learning experiences, the fifth grade class also sent the school mascot, Cubby, and requested that someone from the college take him around campus taking pictures to send back to Crab Orchard. This involved collecting bears of all kinds then dressing them in a CUBS shirt before send off. The letters also explained what it means to be a Leader in Me School, beginning with the end in mind, setting goals to someday attend college, and what their future aspirations were. Therefore, students requested information about each college to be sent back to Crab Orchard to share with everyone else.
And the response was excellent! Not only did they send Cubby back with pictures, they sent stickers, pencils, catalogs, pennants, shirts for Cubby to wear, lanyards, writing journals, and a flash drive containing a slide show of Cubby’s experiences! Some of the colleges students chose to write to and received information from included Yale, Stanford, Lindsey Wilson, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Florida State. Other letters have been sent to LSU, Western Kentucky University, Auburn, Morehead, University of Alabama, Duke, Kansas State and the University of North Carolina just to name a few.
It was expected that several more Cubby bears would arrive home over the summer and they will be displayed for all to see when students return in August.
Future plans for this project include researching the materials received from each college then creating a presentation to be delivered to other students throughout the school. This will help to prepare presenters for Crab Orchard’s fourth annual Leadership Night next fall when they teach their parents and other community members about opportunities for future leaders in their own community.