My name is Suzanne Hole and I have been an elementary teacher in Portsmouth, Rhode Island for the past 16 years. I have taught grades 1 through 6 and currently for the past 4 years I have been teaching 3rd grade at Howard Hathaway Elementary School. I am also an ambassador for Team Herren Project.
As a school district we support Herren Project and its initiative to foster inner confidence, success, happiness and mindfulness in our children.
Children are increasingly entering classrooms anxious, lacking self-confidence and social and emotional concerns. It’s more important than ever for schools to continue to find ways to effectively provide students with opportunities to develop essential health and wellness skills. I believe that all children are unique and have something special that they can bring to their own education. I assist my students to express themselves and accept themselves for who they are, as well embrace the differences of others.
To support the Herren Project initiative – “Be You” – I wrote a grant in 2018-2019 through Portsmouth Public Education Foundation (PPEF). I purchased picture books on self esteem topics to make reading time dodouble duty as covert self-esteem lessons!
I’m thankful that my 3rd grade team and I were awarded a generous grant and grateful to the PPEF for recognizing the importance of teaching health and wellness in the classroom starting at a young age!
Books that support the BE YOU message
Students truly enjoyed these books. It helped students open up and talk about themselves and start conversations that encourage them to reflect on their strengths/needs. Chris Herren, founder of Herren Project and motivational speaker talks to millions of students about being true to themselves and that they are perfect just the way they are. The Be You message is appropriate for all age levels and the younger we teach students self esteem, the better equipped they will be to deal with challenges they face later in life. The following books open up conversations about building self-esteem and talking about our strengths/needs.
Here are some of the books that we purchased to build self-esteem:
- What You do Matters (3pack – chance, problem and idea)
- I am Peace
- I am Human
- Exclamation Mark
- Be Kind
- The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
- My Magic Breath
- What I Like About Me
- The Farmer’s Water Bucket
- Affirmation Weaver
- Calvin Can’t Fly
- Perfect the Way You Are
- Thank You for Being You
They also foster the following:
- Social Skills Development
- Following directions
- Working together
- Problem solving
- Working together
- Being Kind
Games that support the BE YOU message
- Totem– the feel good, self-esteem game for counseling, team building and family
- Tower of Self Esteem – the game consists of a series of questions connecting personal, emotional and social strengths
- You Know – a game where you open up and talk about themselves in groups – start conversations that encourage them to reflect on their existing strengths and weaknesses.
Herren Project visits Hathaway
Bonnie Sawyer, Director of Advancement, and Rachel Scott, Director of Outreach for Herren Project, visited Hathaway School last January and experienced the self-esteem reading and discussion that followed first hand. They were extremely moved by how engaged the students were, watching the students open up about how they feel about being true to themselves.
The day Herren Project visited, the reading was followed by students decorating their own Herren Project “I Am” posters. This allowed the students to express themselves creatively by drawing pictures and describing how they define themselves with adjectives. I printed out each student’s individual class photo so they could put a photo of themselves on the poster and then gave them markers to decorate the blank space. The I AM poster is available for download for registered Herren Project Clubs, along with other elementary age appropriate posters. The more we reinforce the positive Be You messaging through reading, activities, and posters, the more students will internalize and understand self-esteem and being true to themselves.
I am excited to continue to foster inner confidence, success, happiness and mindfulness in our children through Herren Project’s messaging and the books and games I have purchased to build self-esteem. Reading to students about self-esteem, having class discussions and incorporating Herren Project’s messaging and posters can implemented year-round. Together we can teach our children that they are perfect just the way they are and give them the tools they need to succeed!