Rochester, MN – September 27, 2012 – During Early Fall 2012 Quarter, a Global Citizenship Class (SS103.RO1) decided to address the issue of building self-esteem among children by planning a fair called S.T.R.O.N.G. (Stand Tall, Reach Out, Never Give-Up) for children and young teens at the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, Minnesota. The fair happened on September 18, 2012 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Many hours of preparation went into it. The students made posters, assembled treat bags with a self-esteem message, created “passports” for the different activities, made S.T.R.O.N.G. magnets, developed evaluation forms to get feedback from kids, plus more.
About 55 children in grades K-8 participated in the fair. Minnesota School of Business students led the children through different activities. They helped the children identify their strengths, gave a presentation on the meaning of S.T.R.O.N.G., led the children through a trust walk, provided the children with materials to create self-portraits, talked about goal-setting, encouraged teambuilding through the Hula Hoop exercise, and spoke to the children about confidence. After going through all of the activities, each child received a treat bag designed by the students, which included reminders for building self-esteem. For example, one of the items was a seashell to remind the children that everybody is different and beautiful at the same time.
When the children were asked what was the most fun about the fair, many said, “the Trust Walk!” When asked what they learned from the fair, one boy flexed his muscle and said, “I am strong!” The staff of the Boys and Girls Club were delighted with the fair and commented that the kids continued to even talk about it a few days after the event.
MSB students learned how a small act can make a difference in someone’s life. They also learned that involvement, excitement, hard work, awareness, communication, cooperation, understanding of different perspectives, and teamwork can go a long way! It was an “awesome experience,” as one student said, for the students and the community!