Jordan is a student participant in our Harpers Ferry Middle School Leaders in Action program. This fun loving seventh grader joined LIA at the beginning of sixth grade. Why, you may ask? During the end of fifth grade he talked to a previous VISTA about the program, summer camp, and all the interactive things that The Outdoor Education Center provides. Excited as he was, he enrolled in the program for the upcoming year.
Leaders in Action offers a holistic approach to education; using environmental education as the background, the curriculum centers on helping kids make healthy choices and serves as an avenue to reinforce concepts being learned in school, by fully engaging them physically and mentally in a two hour, weekly session.
Jordan appreciates the program because he “likes to learn about stuff you don’t normally learn in school” like Jefferson County Local Government and the environmental practices that apply to his life. As we know, The OEC offers numerous curriculum units and activities for the students to get involved in; Jordan’s favorites are the Just Move It Health Expo, the Halloweeny Warrior Dash, and gardening at the OEC and a local organic farm. One of Jordan’s favorite parts of the program is meeting new people, in other grades and from D.C. Jordan believes LIA is ultimately teaching him important qualities such as leadership and teamwork skills that apply to his daily life.
When we asked Jordan if and how Leaders in Action has helped him he replied, “Yes! I’m smarter in school and I see stuff in different ways.”
(Sarah Nowicki is an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Outdoor Education Center).