• 52°

Amazing Shake Club builds communication moxie at Heritage

MADISON – In the Amazing Shake Club at Heritage Elementary School, students are gaining confidence and interpersonal skills to nurture meaningful, everyday relationships.

Heritage third-grade teacher Kara Lawrence and fifth-grade math teacher Heather Kell sponsored an Amazing Shake Club for students in grades 3-5. Fifth-graders only can enter school competition to send representatives to nationals.

The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Ga. created Amazing Shake to allow students to develop professional qualities — from a proper handshake’s mechanics to ‘working the room’ to present themselves positively, Lawrence said.

“Heritage is a Leader in Me school. We focus efforts on teaching students that everyone can be a leader and providing practical learning experiences to help them discover their leadership potential,” Principal Dr. Georgina Nelson said.

“The Amazing Shake Club is just one of the many such experiences we offer to our students (in clubs). They build their repertoire of soft skills, such as eye contact, engaging adults and new friends in conversation, greeting visitors and shaking hands,” Nelson said. The club fits Heritage’s mission statement “to prepare our students to reach high to achieve our goals, appreciate others, model the habits of a leader and serve our school and community.”

Club members meet every other Friday during school hours. Mill Creek and Rainbow elementary schools also offer Amazing Shake.

During recent judging, student standouts handled themselves under pressure by giving a dinner toast and a basketball pep talk with only 10-minutes notice. “Every curve ball we threw at them, they had to begin with an end in mind while winning over judges with their charisma and professionalism,” Kell said.

Lawrence believes today’s youth can use ‘good manners.’ “It needs to be explicitly taught,” she said. She uses Ron Clark material to teach life skills, such as covering your mouth for a cough and saying ‘Yes, ma’am’ (or sir) and ‘Thank you.’ Her students know that showing respect is a part of their job.

Nelson agrees that soft skills must be taught and modeled at home, school and community. Because of increased (online) screen time, children struggle with engaging with others and presenting themselves.

Judges included Pam Flory, Madison County Deputy HR Director; Paige Bibbee, Decatur City Council President; Dwayne Starling, Lead Sustainment Engineer, Raytheon; Leah Sketo, HR Senior Manager, Lockheed Martin; Patrick Nelson, Attorney, Senior Legal Advisor, PEO Aviation; Farhad Qayum, Best Buy Store Manager; Lee Marker, Athens firefighter; Jeremiah House, Surgical Sales, Stryker; and Mayor Paul Finley.

“It was an awesome opportunity for our students to meet these community leaders and interact with them,” Nelson said.

Heritage students Antonio Deganis, Aubrey Kolenich, Brennan Ragsdale and Lucy Romanoff will enter national competition in Atlanta, Ga. on April 17-19.

Madison

Mill Creek Greenpower Team motors to first place in Oxford

James Clemens High School

James Clemens Competition Cheer Team takes fourth state title

Madison

The celebration continues: Madison Street Festival awards grants to 16 Madison educational programs

Events

The Loomis Brothers Circus returns this weekend

James Clemens High School

Wyche earns full-tuition scholarship from Cameron Education Foundation

Madison

ReadyFest returns to underscore need for preparedness

Madison

Winter Knights Chess Tournament sets record attendance

Harvest

Delta Sigma Theta plans exciting evening with ROUGE – A Go Red Event

Events

Burritt on the Mountain to host Shane Adkins for Coffeehouse Concert series

Bob Jones High School

Sponsors essential to achieving Madison Street Festival’s traditions

Madison

Registration opens to vie for seat in pre-kindergarten

Huntsville

Former doctor from Madison sued for overdose death

James Clemens High School

Donaldson piloting James Clemens as Acting Principal

Madison

Discovery of woman’s body in Hazel Green leads to investigation of possible murder-suicide

Huntsville

Rookie Rally Chess Tournament returns to Blossomwood

Huntsville

Arts Huntsville awards $280,000 in grants to area arts organizations

Bob Jones High School

Nichols’ podcast reflects on MCS’ 25th anniversary

Madison

Regions Bank on Madison Blvd robbed again

Madison

JAN. 20 DEADLINE: Madison Visionary Partners asking for nominations for first annual MVP awards

Madison

Damaging winds, flooding possible tonight

Madison

Community remembers Donald Spencer’s public service

Madison

Water main break postpones Bob Jones vs. Austin basketball games

Madison

Library sessions to offer backyard planting tips to novice gardeners

Madison

Editorial: King’s words speak to all

x