Education

Don't talk in the hall, keep your hands to yourself: 2nd-graders promote school rules in unique PR campaign

Second-grade students Raion Jones, left, and Kenny Pierce at Arlington Elementary School in Lexington sketched ideas for posters about social studies. Wendi Keene of On the Move Studio led the project-based learning activity.
Second-grade students Raion Jones, left, and Kenny Pierce at Arlington Elementary School in Lexington sketched ideas for posters about social studies. Wendi Keene of On the Move Studio led the project-based learning activity. palcala@herald-leader.com

In a few weeks, a new public service campaign featuring posters and videos will be reminding Arlington Elementary students to follow school rules that include “don’t talk in the hall,” “keep your hands to yourself” and “use kind actions and kind words.”

The artists and videographers aren’t from a public-relations firm or from the school district staff.

They are second-grade students at the Fayette County school working on an ambitious project that blends skills from a number of academic subjects. The children developed school rules that were in agreement with policy set by adults at Arlington. Then students launched a public service campaign to promote the rules.

“We have developed a plan for the students to create the school rules,” said teacher Bari Douglas. “The students have learned what it means to come to consensus, they have learned how to interview people and develop interview questions, and interviewed administration and teachers around the building about what kind of school rules we should have.”

The students met with a police officer to learn the differences between rules and laws, created a song about the differences between rules and laws, and researched online rules from schools around the country, Douglas said.

Artists from a group called On The Move Art Studio taught them how to make eye-catching posters, said Douglas.

A poster about playground rules had a picture labeled “monkie barse” and the rule “stay in your personal space.”

In the cafeteria, one poster said, use “maners” when eating, “keep food in your space” and “keep hands to yourself.”

In the hallway, “don’t push anyone,” another poster said.

A poster made by the students about appropriate behavior during a school assembly reminded students to “watch when they put on a program and stay in your seat during a performance.”

Last week, in the school library, the second-graders were writing scripts for the videos they would learn to produce.

Throughout the project, Douglas said, “the teachers stepped back and said, ‘It’s your turn to create.’”

Because the public service campaign is the work of students, teachers are hoping that it will encourage students to follow rules.

Kiersten Glover, 7, said playground rules dictate that students “should stay in your area at all times.”

Erick Juarez Carvajal, 8, said students can’t run in the bathroom: “We need to flush, wash, dry, leave and use walking feet.”

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: 859-231-3409, @vhspears

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