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May Reaching for Greatness Updates



As one of Build 2 Lead's DIRECT programs, "Reaching for Greatness" (RFG) is a free program that works with BIPOC and underserved communities to provide enriching and positive programming that helps kids get a head start!


There are 2 Cohorts of Reaching for Greatness. Build 2 Lead works with students at Evergreen Middle School and at Jennie Reed Elementary School.


RFG Students Learned:


PURPOSE AS THE LINK TO IDENTITY

This week, the theme of purpose and identity was explored through a series of engaging activities and discussions. We began with an icebreaker featuring two thought-provoking questions: "Would you rather be the funniest or smartest person in the room?" and "If you had one free wish, what would you ask for?" These questions encouraged students to recognize that while knowledge and capability are important, having the humility to learn from others is equally crucial.


Earlier in the week, students watched a video titled "How to Find Purpose and Meaning" to prompt them to reflect on their own sense of purpose. The video addressed existential questions like "What is my purpose?" and "What does it all mean?" highlighting the importance of finding meaning in life to avoid feelings of anxiety and disconnection. One student shared a powerful reflection on how the video helped her realize she has more to offer the world than just her intelligence and physical appearance, which was inspiring to hear. About 80% of the students answered the follow-up questionnaire correctly, demonstrating their engagement and understanding.


SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING

We concluded Social & Emotional Learning month with the Personal Wheel Activity. The program started with a restorative circle where students answered two questions: "If you were to change your name, what name would you adopt and why?" and "Think of one person who motivates you during your most challenging times." These questions sparked meaningful conversations among the students.


Next, students participated in the Personal Identity Wheel Project. This worksheet activity prompted them to reflect on how they identify beyond social norms, asking them to list adjectives describing themselves, their skills, favorite books, hobbies, and more. This critical self-reflection helped students understand their identities in different social contexts.


The activity continued with students moving to different identity categories around the room based on the worksheet questions, facilitating discussions with peers who chose the same identity. This was followed by a debrief session where students shared insights gained from the activity.


Prompt Questions for Debrief:

  1. Identities you think about most often.

  2. Identities you think about least often.

  3. Identities you would like to learn more about.


The session concluded with a circle where students shared appreciations for their peers, apologies, or light bulb moments—instances of sudden realization or deeper understanding. This activity fostered a sense of community and personal growth among the students.





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