Banyan offers two optional leadership “bonus” programs for youth. These are specifically designed to develop and foster leadership skills. 5th and 8th Grade Leadership programs meet once a month in the evening following the completion of after school programs.

8th Grade Leaders

This program is designed to inspire comradery and build confidence. Youth discuss concepts such as integrity, being a role-model, and helping others. The program culminates with an off-site service project that the youth plan. After much research last year’s 8th graders decided to volunteer at Open Arms. They packed meals for critically ill members of the community.

“I’m happy to help people!” – 8th grader at Open Arms

5th Grade Leaders

This program is geared toward helping youth begin to see themselves as leaders, specifically learning how to be role models at Banyan and during their school day. First, youth identify key characteristics that they believe a good leader should possess. Then they create a leadership pledge from the common ideas. At the completion of last school year, 100% of the 5th grade leaders program stated that they could see themselves as a leader.

Fifth Grade Pledge
I will respect everyone at all times
I will be kind to the younger kids
I will be honest and tell the truth
I will be responsible by doing my 5th grade classroom job

One of the greatest assets that Banyan can help youth develop is compassionate leadership skills. Banyan strives to create an environment, where students are empowered to become an exemplary role model who prioritizes the emotions of others, consistently speak the truth, demonstrate compassion for all individuals, and actively contribute to the improvement of our community. This is a vital step towards fostering unity and guiding others to be responsible, engaged community members.