Challenge Day Presenter: Dan Hornick Assistant Principal
Challenge Day “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” -Margaret Mead
Background : What is Challenge Day all about? Creating a culture of acceptance and compassion Ending separation, isolation, and loneliness Encouraging people to love and accept each other Celebrating diversity, truth, and full expression
Why did we bring Challenge Day to North Stafford High School? Through our successful Renaissance program, we have been recognizing, reinforcing, respecting, and rewarding academic success. However, we wanted to add another layer onto this by encouraging students to treat each other with respect and kindness.
Goals: What did we set out to accomplish? Eliminate teasing, bullying, violence, alienation, and other forms of oppression that plague schools throughout the nation. Build a more cohesive school culture based on mutual respect and kindness.
Requirements: What you need... Isolated room at least 50 feet x 50 feet One armless folding chair for each participant Organized registration process At least one adult participant for every four students
Requirements: You will also need... A cold lunch for each adult and student participant Pens for each participant At least one school counselor participant to help flag students who need follow-up services
Recruiting Student Participants Challenge Day can accommodate between 80 and 100 student participants per day We have always had 100 students in our programs The recruiting process must be started early The key is to recruit a diverse group of students who represent the full cross section of your school’s population * See handouts for a sample student permission slip and a sample student welcome letter.
Recruiting Adult Participants Challenge Day requires at least one adult for every four students The recruiting process must be started early A few weeks before Challenge Day, be sure to confirm with your adult participants As with student recruitment, key is to recruit a diverse group of adults (teachers, counselors, central office personnel, aides/paraprofessionals, school board members, community members, etc.) * See handouts for a sample adult welcome letter and a sample adult points to remember letter.
Recruiting “Teen Leaders” After your first year of hosting Challenge Day, you are permitted to invite Teen Leaders to all subsequent Challenge Day programs Teen Leaders are students who have participated in the past, are notable personalities, and embody the Challenge Day ideals One Teen Leader is needed for every four student participants A major point to remember is that Teen Leaders still count toward your overall student participant numbers. Therefore, you must have at least one adult for every four Teen Leaders
Two Excellent Video Clips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcp8x9vtyKM This is a 10-minute excerpt from the Challenge Day program held at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in New Jersey. This originally aired on MTV’s “If You Really Knew Me” series. http://www.challengeday.org/videos.php This is a 6-minute excerpt from the Challenge Day program held at El Segundo Middle School in California.
North Stafford Challenge Day! Our leader, Devon, reminding us of core Challenge Day values!
Crazy Dance Ice-Breaker Everyone got a chance to stand on a chair and show off their best dance moves!
At the end of the day, participants were given the opportunity talk about Challenge Day and what it mean to them!
What did we do after Challenge Day? Created a “Be The Change Team” Held a “Be The Change Week” in May Issuing “weekly challenges” to students at the beginning of each school week
Results Challenge Day was well-received by all participants Throughout the remainder of the 2010-2011 and 2011- 2012 school years, we noticed a positive change in how students interacted with each other Students who had not previously been active in school became leaders in the Challenge Day movement The ideas behind Challenge Day encouraged us to choose “Make the Change” as our school motto for the 2011-2012 school year
Challenge Day 2012-2013 and beyond Because Challenge Day was so successful, we decided to bring it back again in 2012-2013 We are currently working with the Challenge Day booking team to schedule our 2013-2014 dates We will use this year’s Challenge Day events to build upon the foundation we started last year!
Since I know you are hooked, here is how you get started! Work to secure funding – Challenge Day costs $3,200 per day PLUS travel expenses (ours cost a total of about $4,000 per day) Challenge Day is based in California. They require schools on the East Coast to host at least three consecutive programs during the week See if a neighboring school or school division wants to split the cost by hosting a day or two. Complete a “Program Request” form, which can be found at the following website: http://www.challengeday.org/booking-challenge-day.php