By Naomi Hatch
Junior Leadership Academy (JLA) Coordinator Mary Jeanne Munroe made a presentation on the program at the Sept. 13 meeting of the Snowflake School District Governing Board.
The summer of 2012 was the sixth summer for JLA. “We have a goal to replicate this program throughout the country,” said Munroe.
“We were fortunate enough to have some of our staff enter the academy,” said Superintendent Hollis Mer-rell, who asked Munroe to report on the JLA in Snowflake.
Munroe said that she had data that “shows that caring educators who work closely with students make a difference.”
The Snowflake program was held at Snowflake Junior High School and had six student participants. “We’ve changed some attitudes, some behaviors and, hopefully, bolstered some confidence,” said Munroe.
She recognized Tamara Charles, who took the leadership and responsibility role for the Snowflake program, and junior leaders Spencer Davis and Kelly Charles for their efforts, then turned the time over to Tamara Char-les to review the Snowflake program.
Charles noted that they worked with the principals of Snowflake Intermediate School, Taylor Intermediate School and SJHS, and “They were very helpful in recommending teachers we could talk with.”
“JLA kids enjoyed the experience and learned a lot of important skills,” said Charles. Sarah Brimhall, presi-dent of the Snowflake Heritage Foundation, donated her time teaching community service, and gave a tour of the pioneer cemetery and the pioneer homes. Students then researched some of the pioneers. They also did community service at the Silver Creek Senior Citizens Center and visited Webb Care Center, where they talked with the elderly.
Local restaurants, convenience stores and individuals donated food to the program.
“All these experiences we felt gave an opportunity to be involved in the community, to help them learn and grow,” said Charles. “A lot of focus was to help children make better choices in their lives,” and Stephen Reid-head talked about that with the students.
Spencer Davis and Kelly Charles helped with mentoring students, and Tamara Charles said she hopes to have more mentors in the future.
“Along with the community support, we hope this will get information out to the public so we have more support through the school and the community,” said Charles.
Board President Ashley Davis asked the mentors what they enjoyed about the program.
“I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun,” said Spencer Davis. “When I’m older I want to be a child psychologist and music therapist, and that helped me to interact with them. We taught them great skills that they’ll need in the future.”
Kelly Charles said she had a lot of cool experiences, but enjoyed doing a skit about the presidents. “We showed them what different personalities people have, and did activities with them to know what they’re like and helped them see the various skills they had,” she said.
By Naomi Hatch