PERRIS – Perris Elementary School was awarded a Civic Learning Award of Merit by a panel of judges and educators selected by the Chief Justice’s Power of Democracy Steering Committee. California’s Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, head of the state’s judicial branch, co-sponsors the awards with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to honor outstanding achievements in civics education. The awards program, now in its ninth year, is part of the Chief Justice’s Civic Learning Initiative, which includes other programs like Judges in the Classroom.
A total of 32 California schools are named this year's recipients of the Civic Learning Awards, an honor that recognizes civic engagement achievements in the classroom. This year, the awards program emphasized school-based efforts that went uninterrupted despite the pandemic.
“In the last year, each of these schools moved their classrooms from campuses to computer screens and despite that challenge, they've kept true to their commitment of engaging students in civic learning.”
--Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye
This year’s awards shifted focus away from honoring entire schools and instead highlighted specific programs and classes. Awarded programs will serve as models, giving educators K-12 replicable programs to implement locally as their students pursue the recently approved State Seal of Civic Engagement.
Perris Elementary School’s Awarded Program: GRIZZLIES L.E.A.D.
GRIZZLIES L.E.A.D. is a student leadership system focused on four pillars developed by the school community: Learn, Excel, Achieve, and Determination. The pillars of leadership are reinforced by Stephen R. Covey's, Leader in Me program - 7 Habits of Highly Effective Students. As the pandemic impacted the ability to maintain schooling on our school site, the school leadership, teachers, support staff, and the lighthouse ambassadors worked together in developing virtual events, Town Hall meetings, L.E.A.D. Incentives for student recognition---growth in the area of academics, service, and the 7 Habits. The student lighthouse ambassadors participate in a professional learning community in which they discuss as a group the impact of their team's service on the school's positive behavior systems related to Learning, Excelling, Achieving, and exhibiting Determination (L.E.A.D.). Perris Elementary's school-based programs hinge on the initial investigation of developing the whole child, our parents, and community to impact our students' lives positively. Our students' ongoing participation in the Perris Elementary School's leadership programming builds a foundation during their elementary school career for literacy in civic engagement activities, active citizenship, and the value of living in a democratic society.