|SUCCESS THROUGH COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS OF CENTRAL OHIO|
School Resource Coordinator With a Focus on E.L.I.T.E.
E.L.I.T.E. stands for Exceptional Leaders Inspired Through Excellence and is an initiative that targets 4th, 5th, and 6th grade (ages 9-12) minority male students within selected Columbus and Whitehall schools.
The purpose is to provide participants with the values, beliefs, strategies and techniques needed to foster a school climate and culture that gives students hope and develops their leadership potential. Communities In Schools was awarded funding from the Race Relations Council of the United Way of Central Ohio for the E.L.I.T.E. program.
The meetings are held weekly at the school that is collaborating with Communities In School. The time that the students meet is either at breakfast, lunch or after school. The young men meet weekly during the school year for 45 minutes to one hour. Meetings begin with a daily pledge recited by all. The E.L.I.T.E. program coordinator was able to find mentors who worked with the students by being assigned to each table and engage participants in discussions and reflections.
The weekly meetings have a specific focus, such as conflict management; etiquette; decision-making; respect; and goal setting. Speakers, particularly positive minority male role models, talk to the students about various topics. There are also activities and field trips that focus on team-building, self-esteem, and discipline.
E.L.I.T.E. requires that each participant abides by a dress code that includes wearing a shirt and tie on the day of the meetings.
The students earn points that will allow them to participate in field trips. Points measure behavior, discipline and cooperation in the classroom from the previous week. Points are also awarded for not having detention, being present, and wearing a shirt and tie to the meeting.
The format of the E.L.I.T.E. meetings is as follows:
Members will participate in school events, field trips and community service throughout the year, including during a summer program.
95% of the students who participated in the program demonstrated an increase in developmental assets. Some program participants were in charge of the end of the year school assembly where they acted as ushers for the rest of the students and as the masters of ceremonies. Other students were involved in recruiting other students for the program and sharing what they were learning, and sometimes presented to their class what they had learned.