On Wed., Jan. 20, students in grades five through eight attended an assembly with Keith Hawkins as part of Netcong Elementary School’s Culture and Climate Initiative. Hawkins has dedicated his life to improving the human race by helping people to strive for personal change in their lives.
Students participated in various activities during the assembly, which theme was students H.E.L.P.ing each other. The acronym stands for Honor, Encourage, Lead, and Protect and is a motto that the school will incorporate into our daily language at Netcong Elementary School. Hawkins discussed with students what is “fun vs. funny” and how playful teasing can easily turn into hurting someone’s feelings. Students on the Student Safety Team worked with Hawkins after the assembly to develop action plans to improve the culture and climate at Netcong Elementary School.
“Keith is a dynamic and engaging presenter who gets through to students,” said Kathleen Walsh, assistant principal. “He does not present ‘fluff’ to the students but rather makes his message tangible and shows students that they do in fact have a voice and that they can make a difference in the lives of others,”
As part of Netcong’s School Culture and Climate Initiative, Netcong Elementary School has partnered with the College of St. Elizabeth, The United Way and The Center for Prevention in Newton to address the school’s culture and climate. Walsh was able to secure a coordinated school health grant from The Center of Prevention to address school culture and climate. As a result of the grant, Walsh was able to administer school surveys to all stakeholders and have Hawkins present at the school.
“The support provided to us to improve school culture and climate by these three organizations is invaluable and we are grateful that we have the opportunity to work with the dedicated individuals who represent each of the three groups,” Walsh said.