|Since the inception of Beyond the Bell’s Elementary Take Action Campaign (ETAC), 21 schools have participated in a variety of topics pertaining to civic leadership. Students and staff have created eco-friendly projects and have encouraged others in the program to be true to themselves and to their cohorts. Students have expressed that their confidence in speaking up in front of their peers has grown. With the positive reinforcement strategies that have been implemented through ETAC, certain school sites have reported fewer incidents with aggression and bullying. Students mentioned feeling supported and safe after school.
This year, ETAC is referred to as the “Young Actioneers- Elementary Take Action Campaign.” One of the recent themes instituted was the “hope campaign.” The goal was to inspire students to affect each of their school and personal communities in a positive manner. The Elementary Unit decided to have their adult staff participate in hopeful activities that would benefit or give back to the community of Los Angeles, too.
Staff members chose to volunteer at the Los Angeles Food Bank to deliver a sense of hope not only to the community, but to the students in ETAC as well. Staff wanted to convey that such a selfless act could impact many people in need. They chose to be role models who exemplify that they truly believe in helping underserved communities. Staff from Canterbury, Sally Ride, South Shores, Taper, and Wilmington Park elementary schools, along with supervisory staff from the Elementary Unit, attended this event on January 21,2017. Staff took part in sorting and organizing goods, in addition to assisting with quality control regarding expiration dates. Staff later had a meeting to reflect on the overall experience. They planned how they can share what they learned with students who participate in ETAC during the after-school programs with the hope of empowering them to affect social change in simple ways.