by Lt. Brenna Logan
1. High Expectations
After the training with Lt. Judith Fetzer, Omaha Kroc Center officer for youth development, our team implemented a new system of handling behavior, which we call the 3 Rs (Reminder of the rules, Removal from activity and Removal for the day).
We have posted this plan throughout our building; this allows the children to be reminded of the standard for our programs. Since implementing this plan, both staff and students are reciting it. Our staff members are explaining why we have these expectations, and I’ve even heard children saying to one another, “Remember the 3Rs!” It’s encouraging to see the children realize these expectations, and how they hold themselves and each other to these standards!
2. Peaceful Conflict Resolution
Since our meeting with Lt. Judith, our staff has been intentional by following a system to deal with conflict immediately and as gently as possible. They have been more confident in sitting down with the child/children and talking issues out.
There is one young man in our afterschool program who struggles with appropriate communication. He’s been removed from his classroom at school and our program because of the things he says. However, since the training the staff has been seeking to understand what is upsetting him. Because of this, he has made strides in the way he speaks by first thinking through what it is he wants to say.
3. Support: Other Adult Relationships
After our training we started holding dinners where parents and staff sit with the children and get to know them better during the meals. Whether the children come throughout the week to these dinners or just on Sundays, each child at our corps knows there are leaders who are investing in his or her life. I enjoy the days where one of the staff members is out and the children ask for him or her by name. “Where is Miss Lisa? When does Lt. Pam come back, I miss her,” they’ll say. Those are the moments when I realize we are making a difference in the lives of these children.