Heritage Middle School students worked together to form “#HMS” on the football field.
On Friday, August 24, Heritage Middle School staff, students and community volunteers celebrated the start of the school year with their fourth annual PRIDE Initiative Day. At Heritage, pupils learn the importance of using PRIDE (Purpose, Respect, Independence, Discipline and Evaluation) in their everyday lives in and out of the classroom. The theme this year was “Fostering Positive Relationships,” which was discussed by keynote speaker Noelle Geno from Common Sense Culture.
This year, students have been placed into four “houses” to foster a family-type atmosphere within the larger school. The pupils had opportunities to meet the other members of their house through lunch and outdoor team building activities led by members of the Westerville Education Challenge group, Westerville Partners for Education and community volunteers. Students were able to come up with a house name, motto and handshake for their house. Other activities helped teach the importance of good communication skills and teamwork. School counselors and other district mental health specialists led an introduction to social emotional learning. Pupils also spent time learning about their academic strengths and strategies to put into practice for optimal academic success. Thanks to Westerville Education Challenge’s generosity, each student received a PRIDE shirt to wear throughout the day and school year.