Five Star teaches values; raises grades at LJH

PLYMOUTH — Most kids can’t wait to get out of school when the final bell rings. Not so for 60 Lincoln Junior High students — at least not on Tuesdays.
Tuesday afternoons between 3 and 5 p.m. are devoted to Five Star, an after-school program that uses volunteer “coaches,” games and discussion times to encourage students to live a “Five Star life.”
“So many kids feel like they are losing, and we want them to win,” said LJH head coach Casey Martin.
The Five Star program teaches five core values: respect, responsibility, courage, sacrifice, and integrity — and students spend at least four weeks going over each value.
“Five Star has been a tremendous program for the students at LJH in many ways,” said LJH principal Dan Funston. “Too often we teach character traits in an abstract way that students do not understand. Five Star gives students practical applications.”
Funston also said that he has seen students involved in Five Star significantly raise their grades.
Students connect with their coach when they first arrive at Five Star (held in LJH’s cafeteria). They have a snack, participate in a group game, do Five Star options (could be another game, a craft, or homework time), talk about the last week’s challenges and establish new challenges for the next week. The coaches, all volunteers, encourage the students to think of new ways they could utilize one of the core values in their everyday life that week.

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