Generation Z: Buddy Benches
For our grant our goal is to focus on training our students on how to become empathetic listeners while also focusing on hands on skills they already possess to be utilized for transitional gain and future careers. The major focus of our project will be the implementation of Buddy Benches in our school. These non-tech zones will be student constructed, worked, and monitored by our Cougar Cares team to encourage school comradery as well empathetic listening. By focusing on these components these benches can become a hub for students to seek out students for help and have a place where a buddy will always be. These components will be tracked and utilized in the students Digital Portfolios as a source of personalized information to be utilized when seeking further trainings as well as employment. Through a previous grant awarding by Emily Kincer, Generation Z – Personalized Digital Portfolios, students are able to have a cohesive documentation of their individual skills through picture, video, displaying certificates earned, show job experience, utilize online resources (the HOLLER, ILP, IXL certificates, and others) and much more. Through working on these components together we work on critical thinking, communication skills of students to adults and students to students, application of higher order thinking, and transitional skills. We will teach our students lessons on empathy throughout the year, build the benches in the fall, implement the Cougar Cares program, install the benches in our school by January, teach the school about their purpose in January, and they will be utilized throughout the rest of the year. Students will be monitored and guided throughout the process. All of these happenings will be tracked by the students Digital Portfolio as well to be utilized to meet their needs for transitional success.