It was the first all-school assembly for the kindergarten boys and they seemed happy to be included. The purpose of this assembly was for the whole school community to come together to hear from our headmaster, our boys, and a few of our faculty about what makes a “good heart.”
As you may remember, the Good Heart program formally articulates principals which St. Bernard’s has championed since its founding. These core values are perseverance, integrity/honesty, community, and consideration for others. For each of these, other values have been identified as part-and-parcel of the four core pillars:
- Perseverance: resilience, hard work, passion, and normalizing making mistakes
- Honesty/Integrity: truthfulness and humility
- Community: friendship, leadership, and loyalty
- Consideration for Others: respect (for self and others), kindness, and empathy
Now back to the assembly. First, Mr. Johnson discussed the importance of each of the Good Heart values. The boys eagerly raised hands to offer their own explanations. Next, the boys were treated to a short film showcasing a discussion of these values between Upper School Head Mr. White and six boys. Lastly, Dr. Kahn asked four faculty members, Mrs. Milstead, Mr. Clavel, Mr. Bowcock, and Coach Miceli, to come on stage and tell the boys about an example of kindness. Mr. Bowcock shared a touching story of a past Upper School boy who experienced a series of disruptions in his family life. The boy moved in with various classmates that year, and as a community they helped him get through a rough patch.
After the assembly, boys and teachers were asked to return to their homerooms to continue the discussion, with the following in mind: how can we, as a homeroom, bring the good heart values to life? In Ms. Corso’s second grade, the boys defined each core value in their own words. They were then asked to think about what they could do to uphold one of these values and write it down. Lach R. wrote, “I am going to hold the door.” Domi K. says to “Keep on trying until you get it right.” And Julian K. wants to “keep on trying to ride my bike on bumpy roads.” In the Kindergarten South class, one boy said that having a good heart means “when someone feels bad, you make them feel good.” Well said, boys.
Many thanks to our Good Heart team for organizing the morning, and thanks to our boys, faculty, and staff for working to make ours a community that supports and enriches each other.