Students Explore Leadership and More through New Lower School Enrichment Program

Lower School students on the Historic Siesta Key Campus are participating in a schoolwide collaboration and community building program called “Enrichment Clusters” this year.
These “clusters” are student-driven inquiry groups that meet weekly to focus on a subject they have decided they would like to learn more about. The cluster topics vary widely and include Lower School Leaders, Musical Creations, “Sew” Fun, ODA STEM Fair, Ancient Civilizations, SK Reporters, Etiquette, and many more. These sessions celebrate the process of educational growth as students in varying age groups focus on the learning that takes place as they explore, invent, and discover together.

During the past month, the Lower School Leaders cluster has been developing their ideas of what it means to be a leader. As a team, they have advocated for what they believe in and have practiced modeling good leadership. They have cleaned up campus, made posters about recycling, and found positive ways to advocate about issues that are important to them.

Earlier this month, the Lower School Leaders were visited by Florida State Representative Margaret Good and her District Aide, Kay Mathers. Representative Good spoke with the group about what experiences in her life made her decide to become a leader, what leadership qualities helped earn her job, and the challenges of decision making. The group asked many insightful questions and were excited to hear her mention several of our core values when talking about leadership.

Maxine Gould ‘29, a member of the group, recently traveled with her family to New York and had the opportunity to interview Dasha Rettew, the Head of Leadership Development at Facebook. Ms. Rettew shared how her interest in leadership started when she was in high school, and spoke about the challenges she faces as a leader and how she manages them. “Leadership is challenging. You need to be responsible for so much,” she said. “Listening is key. It’s the skill leaders are developing most.”

In December, each cluster will deliver a presentation during an Assembly Showcase to share what they have learned with the rest of the student body. The groups will talk about the challenges they faced, efforts that yielded points of pride, and how they grew during the semester. In the second semester, students will have the opportunity to sign up for a new set of clusters and discover, explore, and invent again.

The Out-of-Door Academy

LOWER SCHOOL |  Historic Siesta Key Campus  |  Pre-K – Grade 5
444 Reid Street, Sarasota, FL 34242  |  941-349-3223  |  Fax: 941-349-8133

  |  Uihlein Campus in Lakewood Ranch  |  Grades 6 – 8 |  Grades 9 – 12
5950 Deer Drive, Sarasota, FL 34240  |  941-349-3224  |  Fax: 941-907-1251
The Out-of-Door Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, gender, or national origin. The Out-of-Door Academy is an equal opportunity employer.

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