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Rocketeers launch in roles of responsibility at Rainbow

MADISON – The Rocketeers at Rainbow Elementary School are accepting tasks that nurture leadership, responsibility and dependability, while helping their peers and adults along the way.

Michael Gunner is assistant principal at Rainbow Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Michael Gunner is assistant principal at Rainbow Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)

Selected on teacher recommendations, the Rocketeers are the school’s upperclassmen — fifth- and sixth-graders.

“We would like for Rainbow students to become accomplished learners — to grow their abilities and interests and become self-sufficient contributors to future generations,” assistant principal Michael Gunner said. “We encourage leadership in math and technology to assist in this.”

School leaders designed the Rocketeer program to assist adults in daily operations with adult supervision. The program also fulfills Madison City Schools’ vision to ’empower students for global success.’ “The priority was to protect instructional time but to incorporate student involvement in our school community,” Gunner said.

In the car line, Rocketeers assist teachers in opening doors to keep the traffic moving. “Some Rocketeers escort pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students to their assigned areas or classrooms,” Gunner said.

After breakfast in the cafeteria, they clear tables and direct pedestrian traffic so students can reach their classrooms on time. In the Rainbow office, the Rocketeers file mail in teachers’ mailboxes and run errands.

In addition, Rocketeers raise and lower the flags, help library aides with shelving books and fill birdfeeders for Rainbow’s outdoor classroom. “As ambassadors, they show new students around the school or escort visitors,” Gunner said. “Some Rocketeers put out the recess gear and gather it at the end of the day.”

By working in these roles, the students are “learning the importance of volunteering, teamwork and scheduling. They receive a schedule once per month,” Gunner said.

Administrators asked teachers to nominate students who exhibited traits of responsibility and dependability. Parents of nominees received letters to grant permission for these students to assume the leadership roles at Rainbow.

Dorinda White is Rainbow’s principal.

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