WAVE is our school's character education program. It was developed by the counselor, the Guidance Advisory Committee, and a team of students in the Spring of 1995. Our program includes six core values: Respect, Responsibility, Caring, Cooperation, Honesty, and Moral Courage.
At Wood Acres, we encourage our students and staff to demonstrate these 6 values everyday through their actions. The teachers incorporate these values into their classrooms in many of the following ways: classroom rules, literature activities, class discussions, cooperative groups, modeling and by rewarding examples of positive behavior. Each month our school focuses on one of the six values, and students participate in classroom activities that help them to learn about and remind them of the value of the month.
The Wave values go hand in hand with our 5 step conflict resolution plan to teach students how to handle daily problems that may arise:
HUG ME, DON'T BUG ME
- Move Away
- "I" Message
- Suggest Action
- Get Adult Help
WAVE's success is due largely to the program's three design criteria. First, the program was designed, implemented, and continues to be carried on by students. This "bottom up" approach, combined with "top down" guidance, helps assure a program over which the children take ownership. Second, the program recognizes an unlimited number of children an unlimited number of times during the school year. This "win-win" approach contrasts sharply with "citizen of the week "type programs by fostering a community of shared values that is expected of everyone all of the time. Third, the program is linked to the home. As a supplement to parental efforts, WAVE can only be successful if tied into the children's primary source of character education.
The Home-School Connection
The following is a list of the ways that parents can support the WAVE and Hug Me Don't Bug Me programs at home:
- Post the lavender WAVE card (distributed at Back to School Night) in the home in a place where everyone can see it and refer to it (i.e. on the refrigerator).
- Discuss the 6 WAVE values as you witness examples of them (both positive and negative) in the movies; on television; in books; magazines and newspapers; in sporting events; during playtime; and in other group-related activities.
- Reinforce the problem-solving steps of Hug Me, Don't Bug Me as conflicts arise on a day-to-day basis (i.e. with siblings and friends).
- Read and discuss the ethical scenarios with your children that are highlighted in the Counselor's Corner newsletter.
- Reinforce examples of ethical behavior in the family by rewarding your children with your own version of a WAVE award.
- Be aware of your own behavior and model the 6 values for your children through your interactions with both adults and children.