High School Chapters Program Content

9 Workshops, 3 Volunteer Projects, Personal Accountability

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In this program students have the opportunity to learn new habits and tactics and gain a deeper understanding about making and keeping promises, self-control, compassion, contemplation, sacrifice, hope, accountability and honesty and begin to apply them in new and meaningful ways. Through the capstone project, students will develop community networking skills, use critical thinking skills, build confidence through teamwork and benefit from the positive effects that volunteering can have on mental health.

This program can provide the community service toward graduation requirements for up to 50 hours. Every lesson will provide new opportunities for personal growth and increased ability to make and keep promises – to be a person of one’s word.

Character Development Workshops

According to CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning), High school programs should provide these developmental strategies:

  • Focus on supporting positive identity formation,
  • Positive school-based relationships,
  • Student voice and choice, and
  • Supporting young people as change agents.

Our program has been structured to include these strategies in each component of the lesson, creating the capacity for student growth in academics, and preparing them for college careers and successful lives.   

Lessons are engaging and interactive with video, podcasts and articles incorporated to deliver habits and tactics that can be used in daily routines to improve personal relationships and school culture. 

The workshops are built around the 7 principles of because I said I would:

  • Compassion
  • Self-Control
  • Sacrifice
  • Honesty
  • Hope
  • Contemplation
  • Accountability

9 Monthly Workshops; 4 Modules per Month

The full-year program consists of 9 monthly lessons created in 20-minute modules that can be adapted to meet school needs. Each lesson has 4 modules with options to extend the learning or connect the modules to create one workshop experience.

1. Introduction Video & Activities

A very interesting study in 1951 by Solomon Asch revealed an unfortunate challenge in the human experience. Conformity is a lot more common than most people understand.

In this workshop, students discover insights into the relationship between conformity and peer pressure. It’s important to understand this because sometimes keeping a promise means saying “NO.” But how do we get over the embarrassment of going against the grain even when we know it’s the right thing to do? Let’s discuss the habits and tactics that make it easier for a person to stand for what they believe in.

2. Promise Stories

Promise stories help set the tone and allow for candid conversations about choice, relationships, social awareness and responsible decision-making. Modeling behavior is a strong strategy in character development so students hear promise stories that show character development in action. These promise stories are a mix of real-life events from our global network of supporters, as well as viral stories students may have seen in their own feeds and are excited to talk about.

3. Accountability Meetings

Each student has the opportunity every month to make an individual promise that applies to their life and the adversities that they face. They also follow up on their progress with past promises with the group. This provides a practical application of goal setting, individual accountability and builds support, inclusion and empathy. 

Accountability meetings allows for student choice and the opportunity for students to practice the concepts that they have been exposed to in the other modules.

4. Volunteer Projects

Each month students work toward the planning and execution of their volunteer projects (see below). Projects include reflection and a final presentation so it’s good to have this planning time baked into our curriculum.

Volunteering: 3 Volunteer Projects Per Year

Social emotional skills are essential for academic, personal, and professional success. Through volunteering, students have the opportunity to better the lives of those around them and to develop skills that will lead them to lifelong success.

Student-Organized Volunteer Projects

Each student participates in a collection of 3 volunteer projects involving their peers, the school community and the community at large. Students assess their community’s needs and working together, complete volunteer projects and collect community service hours that may be used toward graduation.

Here are three examples of Volunteer Project Plans:

Birthday Party for Homeless Children
Trash Bingo
Comfort for Hospitalized Children

More than ever, in today’s challenging times, it’s critical to equip students with the character development and SEL skills to cope with the world around them. Volunteering allows practice and learning through application of these skills.

Some of the Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies addressed are: 

  • Social Awareness: Students exposed to and aware of the diverse backgrounds of others learn how to interact with others with respect, empathy, and open-mindedness.
  • Responsible Decision-Making: Volunteering teaches students to make respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions in situations they may not have otherwise encountered.
  • Relationship Skills: By listening to and interacting with the experiences of others, students learn to communicate clearly, listen actively, and respond to the needs of others.

Social emotional skills are essential for academic, personal, and professional success. Through volunteering, students have the opportunity to better the lives of those around them and to develop skills that will lead them to lifelong success.

More than two decades of research demonstrates that education promoting social and emotional learning (SEL) gets results. The findings come from multiple fields and sources, including student achievement, neuroscience, health, employment, psychology, classroom management, learning theory, economics, and the prevention of youth problem behaviors. (CASEL)

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