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Spring has sprung in a thoughtful way at Cloquet Middle School

Students and staff at Cloquet Middle School decided not to wait for Mother Nature last week, and created their own flowering tree inside the school. However, this tree does more than create a bright spot in the hallway. Each student (and staff me...

"dream tree"
A "dream tree" blossoms on a wall at Cloquet Middle School. Every student and staff member at the school made a flower for the tree. Contributed Photo

Students and staff at Cloquet Middle School decided not to wait for Mother Nature last week, and created their own flowering tree inside the school.

However, this tree does more than create a bright spot in the hallway. Each student (and staff member) made a two-layered flower. On the large flower they were to write a "life goal" and on the small flower an "end of the year goal."

"We encouraged the students to look past just material goals of possession, power, position or pleasure and focus more on goals that involved the impact they will have on others," explained Jamie Jazdzewski, school counselor.

Here are some of the goals the students at CMS came up with:

"Be positive, respect others and me, be

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honest."

"My life goal is to still be the real me even if people don't like who I am. I will always keep

trying."

"Be a good person and help others."

"Treat others like you would want to be treated."

Jazdzewski explained the idea for the wall was developed around the following quote from Rachel Joy Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine High School tragedy: "Glory only comes when one pursues their dreams. How many of us know what we really want and go after it? How many of us have enough trust, strength, and faith to believe that we could do the impossible?"

After her death, Rachel's family issued "Rachel's Challenge," a challenge to others to embrace her beliefs about kindness and compassion, and how one person's act of compassion can start a chain reaction.

CMS started Rachel's Challenge last year.

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"We combined it with the small group concept we have been using through the Olweus anti-bullying program," Jazdzewski said. "Every other week all of the students at CMS participate in a small group to discuss topics such as acceptance, kindness and goal setting. We address the fact that if everyone did their best to follow these things, bullying could not exist in our building."

Jazdzewski said the tree continues to inspire more thought and discussion.

"The best part is that we see kids looking at the 'dream tree' daily as a reminder," the counselor said. "They not only walk by, but they stop and show their friends. They point out their goals and discuss them with others!"

Related Topics: CLOQUETEDUCATION
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