Building Community on Campus
“My first grader is so funny!” “Your brother’s my fourth-grader!” Comments like these might puzzle a newcomer to Mayfield Junior School, but MJS students and staff recognize the curiosity and exuberance sparked by the tradition of the School Families program.
Beginning in early fall each year, eighth-graders at Mayfield are named heads of “School Families,” which consist of representatives from each grade, first through eighth. Each family unit also includes at least one teacher or staff member, though not to supervise so much as to participate from a slight distance while eighth-graders flex their leadership muscles and guide their younger peers through an ever-changing array of activities, from writing personal goals to telling silly jokes.
School Families meet Friday mornings and begin with a recitation, from memory, of the Student Pledge, which includes these words: “I pledge to treat others kindness, compassion and respect” Throughout the year, “family” members sit together at school masses, at Christmas each child is assigned to provide thoughtful gifts for needy members of real families at Good Shepherd Shelter, and in the spring, they compete together to win a School colors spirit competition, Blue and White Day.
School Families have long been a beloved part of the Mayfield community. Its purpose is to give real leadership opportunity to every eighth-grader, whether those more outgoing or who tend to let others take the spotlight. With the goals of working together to help others, listening to each other and sharing good times, the School Families thrive; building friendships across age groups and developing the idea of community from the tallest to the smallest.