A Laurel School parent alerted us about the Life Skills Program at Laurel School in Atherton run by school counselor Ashley Guilliot, who was recently notified that the program has received a 2014 Kent Award, bestowed by the San Mateo County School Boards Association in recognition of outstanding and innovative programs. We asked Ashley to tell us about the program:
“The Life Skills Program at Laurel School provides the foundation for personal and social growth in students, teaches the Life Skills through literature, and builds a common language and camaraderie.
“Each month, one Life Skill is spotlighted. Teachers read books representing the month’s Life Skill and students participate in activities to reinforce the Life Skill. Parents complete Life Skills Grams to recognize their child’s successful use of the Life Skill at home.
“Specialists and yard duty supervisors reward students with special Life Skills stickers when they notice a student using one of the Life Skills so that students receive immediate reinforcement. Each month selected students are recognized and awarded a Life Skill wristband for doing an outstanding job exemplifying that month’s Life Skill.
“The ten Life Skills are respect, responsibility, friendship, generosity, self-discipline, compassion, perseverance, acceptance, cooperation, and honesty.
“The Life Skills program gives teachers, staff, and parents a common/consistent language to use with the children. Students learn to recognize when they are using the skills and when they could have done a better job using a particular skill.
“I see firsthand how the students benefit from learning these Life Skills. They congratulate others on earning their Life Skills wristbands/stickers, they tell me how hard they are working on using particular Life Skills, and I hear them tell teachers and yard duty supervisors when a student isn’t being a good friend/compassionate/respectful/etc. I have seen the school climate change as everyone (teachers, staff, parents, and students) holds each other accountable for using their Life Skills.”
Photos by Laura Hamilton