By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The Kane School Student Service Squad is a wonderful opportunity for the students to get involved and really make the school their own.
Fourth-grade teacher Lisa LeDuc-Creamer and music teacher Michael Cicerone have partnered together to oversee this leadership and service project at the Francis J. Kane Elementary School in Marlborough.
This program evolved a couple of years ago out of the evaluation schedule for the teachers. LeDuc-Creamer wanted to do something relating to student community service learning.
“I felt that students really needed an identity; something for them to do that would push them above and beyond and make them models. As my professional project, I chose to do a student service club. At that time we had over 70 kids apply,” LeDuc-Creamer explained.
Members of the Student Service Squad organize games with the first graders at recess once a week, in addition to other leadership and service-oriented acivities.
Teachers and professionals interviewed each student and required them to fill out an application much like an adult's job application. References from adults such as coaches or teacher were also necessary.
“We had 30 kids actually apply. Out of those students we had 28 of them attend the informational session last week along with 28 parents. That was amazing,” LeDuc-Creamer said.
The interviews for the Kane School Service Squad begin this week and final decisions for the members were disclosed Dec. 20.
During their interviews, students were asked about being a good citizen both in school and in their neighborhoods and what makes a good citizen. Other thought-provoking questions posed were about what makes a good leader, how they are dependable, and how they show courtesy and good attitude for others.
“Being a part of something relies on the fact that you are dependable. You need to be there, not just by showing up but by participating,” LeDuc-Creamer added.
The students were also asked what ideas they have for improving the school and neighborhood.
“Kids really do have so many ideas that are important but they don's always get the opportunity or the tools to be heard,” she said. “Part of becoming an active citizen in global society means really being able to look at and do something with that internal drive to improve things.”
Cicerone added: ?”The interview process also is an important learning tool in the selection. Filling out an application, seeking people to write references on their behalf and getting everything returned in a timely fashion demonstrates commitment.”
The students chosen will represent their school in a positive light. They also know that being a member of the Kane School Student Service Squad will demand a lot of their time and any schoolwork missed will need to be made up. Some of their meetings will also be during after school hours.
Through setting up this program, LeDuc-Creamer found a program called TheLeaderInMe.org and its “Seven Habits of Happy Children.”
“This is right along with Stephen R. Covey's other works; he's known for his work for researching and finding out the traits of highly successful business executives, principals, and other professionals. He and his son created a program that students could start in kindergarten. We are going to use those seven habits to help kids. Being proactive is one of them,” she said.
“Not every student will be the material for this group right now but I would tell them just how proud we are of them. Right there, that shows the initiative that could make them stronger,” noted Cicerone.
Interim Principal Steve Silvestri added, “This is where in fourth grade we step it up a bit and really show what leadership is all about. It's a great program.”