By Asset Champion Ann Rooney
At the Whole Learning School, we use the 40 developmental assets as a guiding principal of our citizenship. One of the bigger events we do to showcase the asset builders is called Special Person Day. This asset builder falls in the external asset of support and the internal asset of commitment to learning.
Every year our students host their “special person” by inviting them to school and teaching them about their personal learning through modeling. They cover reading, math, writing, and yoga. The students teach the curriculum to their special person. In doing so, they build a sense of lasting importance of learning and a belief in their own abilities. Students are also surrounded by people who love, care for, appreciate, and accept them. After 5 years of this event, we still hear from special people who have previously attended and are still talking about their experience. As it turns out, it is not an asset builder just for students but for adults too!
Below is a letter from one of our special persons.
“My most special memory is being asked to be her “special person” at the first ever “special person” day at TWLS. Annie selected me as a special adult in her life. She shared her day with me, taking me through various workstations (including yoga) and we had lunch together. Throughout the day it was stressed that it is important for each of us to have adults besides our parents that we can count on and know that they are there for us. There were grandparents there, art instructors, mentors, sisters, brothers, etc. It really drove home the idea of a community of people supporting the growth and development of these children. Every time my niece comes to my house, she sees my “special person” ribbon on my refrigerator and she is reminded that I am always there for her.”