Lucie Collins, Year 5 London Project Leader, talks about what character is and the impact it can have on young people and learning.
What’s the most enjoyable part of being a Project Leader? For me, it’s finding different and creative ways to bring character into my sessions.
So what is character?
Jubilee Centre defines it as educational activities that help young people develop positive personal strengths. At ReachOut we concentrate on the character strengths of fairness, self-control, good judgement and staying power.
How character can be used
Back in September, to kick off the project, the girls each decorated a ‘hand’ made of card and listed a character strength on each finger. Each week, they put a star on the finger of the character strength they feel they have used most, which has been a great way for them to reflect and visually see how they are using character strengths and to recognise those which could be used more.
To inspire the girls on using character strengths in their day to day lives, I found a series of children’s books called ‘Little People, Big Dreams’. Each book is a beautifully illustrated biography of a woman that has made a difference in the world, telling of the obstacles she had to face, but ultimately overcame, to achieve something.
As my group love maths and science, I chose the book about Marie Curie where we discussed which character strengths they thought she used at different points in her life. The mentors helped the girls write out their ideas to create a poster, along with examples of when they had used character strengths in their own lives.
The impact of character
Having real-life examples made the activity more relatable and helped them to further understand the importance of using character. After reading the book, they were able to think of situations when they had used a character strength in different parts of their lives, not just related to school or the ReachOut sessions.
If you’re interested in becoming a Project Leader like Lucie, sign up on our website
For more character inspired activities, follow Lucie on Instagram: @lucieslightbulb