Mentoring – Throughout the school year, OCLM students collaborate with same- age and mixed-age peers in order to accomplish tasks and engage in exciting activities. Upper grade students gain confidence, skills and responsibility when working with younger children. They learn to practice patience and understanding through structured activities and learn to appreciate the earlier stage(s) of development younger students possess during specific play-based activities. Younger students develop relationships with older students, who serve as role models and who challenge younger students to try something that initially seems difficult. These mentoring opportunities are on-going during the school year as teachers develop activities and create settings where mentoring can be exemplified.
Fun Fridays – Every Friday, OCLM students participate in teacher-designed, theme-based activities that are hands-on, participatory and engaging. Students are typically presented with open-ended situations in which they can explore, develop, problem-solve and use critical thinking skills. Students work in mixed-age and same-age groups and discover the power of synergizing. Individually, they can share their creative ideas and discover ways to be proactive about their ideas.
Stepping Up – Our end of the year culmination ceremony is inclusive of all students as they “step up” to their next grade or “step out” to their next school experience. In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, students learn about a particular topic and share in the common goal of celebrating its components together. For example, one year, students engaged in a Bizarre Bazaar; during the weeks prior to the event, they developed a business idea in their small groups and brought that idea to fruition with the help of community mentors. Each student took a leadership role in the process, and on the day of the event, the teamwork and leadership of all students made the personal business ideas a great success from start to finish.
Special Projects – Parents and community members bring real-world experiences to OCLM students so that they can learn about global leadership through increased awareness. An example of this was the Flutes Around the World project in December 2011. John Zeretzke, world musician and the organization’s founder, instructed students on the value and influence of music globally. Students participated in the creation of making two flutes, one to keep and one to send to a child in another part of the world who may not have ever owned an instrument. OCLM students were delighted to give one of their flutes to another child, and in the process, they experienced the meaning of compassion and value in giving to others through one’s own efforts.