The Reinhardt University Students in Free Enterprise team has been working with a class at Porter Academy in Roswell on implementing Chick-fil-A’s Core Essentials Program. SIFE members visit the school once a month and work with the children on the importance of treating others right, exhibiting self control, being generous and various other character education topics.
“SIFE students are learning the importance of planning and organizing each visit with the children, which is something that will help them as they embark on their professional careers,” said Tina Boosel, instructor of business and SIFE adviser.
Boosel said the project offers the students a first-hand opportunity to see the benefits of helping others.
“This project required our students to do more than show up for a one-day event. They have had to really engage themselves in the project and remain dedicated to see the work through,” she said. “They are also seeing the benefits of giving back to the community — the children are connecting with them and they are seeing very positive results when they review the materials with the children on each visit.”
The Porter Academy is a private school serving children pre-kindergarten through eighth grade who have not been successful in a traditional classroom setting. The academy’s goal is to utilize a holistic approach to help each child develop and appreciate his or her abilities, enabling academic, social, and emotional success throughout life, according to information on its website.
Children who attend the academy are coping with sensory processing, visual processing, auditory processing, language processing, attention deficit disorder, motor skills problems, dyslexia, executive functioning, social skills and self-esteem, they say.
“The SIFE team recently helped the Porter Academy children pack 30 shoe boxes to send to the Dominican Republic for Operation Christmas, to help the children understand the importance of being generous and helping those less fortunate.
“Our goal is that the children not just learn about the Chick-fil-A core values, but experience them and ultimately use them throughout their entire life,” said Amanda Lam, a junior accounting major from Canton, and SIFE president. “We do that by making the learning part fun for the students. To help them understand the value of generosity, we recently had them pack shoe boxes filled with toys, toiletries, and school supplies to send to Operation Christmas. We make sure to do activities, crafts, and games that relate to the values we are teaching them.”
The team will be showcasing this and their other community service projects at the SIFE regional competition in April, in Atlanta.
“One of the most important things you can do is teach a child values and invest in making sure they know someone cares about them,” said Boosel. “The return on this investment we hope will last a lifetime.”
Chick-fil-A Core Essentials Program
Core Essentials is a values education program, designed for grades K-5, that provides affordable, simple, downloadable tools allowing schools to quickly incorporate values education into their curriculum.
Their goal is to help schools create a culture of caring, respect and personal responsibility.
The curriculum filters lesson plan suggestions, and other strategic tools through the lens of the following big three ideas: Treat others right, make smart decisions, and maximize your potential.
The program provides a “value of the month” curriculum that encourages individual classrooms, the entire school, and every family to emphasize the same aspects of each value. The values that Core Essentials emphasizes are common attitudes that every parent and teacher wants children to learn and demonstrate.
Core Essentials is a nonprofit organization and was begun in 1998 by concerned parents and teachers who wanted to help kids by providing quality character building resources to schools. The first Core Essentials program was launched in partnership with Chick-fil-A in about 24 elementary schools in the metro Atlanta area. Since that time, more than 450,000 children have been impacted each year.
A private comprehensive university, Reinhardt University has focused on shaping lives and building futures. Founded in 1883, more than 1157 students are enrolled in Reinhardt’s five graduate programs in business administration, music and education, and 41 undergraduate majors, which range from business, communications and education to political science, theater and math.