School Spotlight: Basswood Elementary Builds Courage, Connection to Community
Basswood Elementary School in Maple Grove is helping its young students build courage, confidence, and connection to the community.
For our CCX School Spotlight visit, Basswood Elementary pulled out all the stops to show what kind of environment students value at the school. It first began with a warm welcome from the safety patrol, ensuring us a safe walk into school.
Principal Steven Schwartz was at the helm.
“It was exciting for us to have you here today because the kids just really are really excited about what they do,” Schwartz said.
But safety patrols are only one shining example of how leadership and community comes into play at Basswood Elementary.
“I think it’s really important for kids to feel like they connect, they’re in a group,” Schwartz said.
Some students are also school ambassadors. They dress for the part, know their stuff and graciously led me to the media Center so I could learn more about the school.
“We’re helping them to gain confidence and some skills and explore some areas that might be interesting to them either in sports or leadership or also in just community service,” said Schwartz.
It’s an approach Basswood Elementary says is making a positive difference. By offering different ways to connect and to do positive things, students are able to explore and grow in areas of interest.
Some students are part of “Basswood Gives Back,” a student leadership group making an impact in the school and beyond. This month, it’s spreading the word about a toy drive for Christmas.
“They are more about investing in the community, both locally and internationally as well. And so those are the kids with big hearts and gives them an opportunity to give in a way that’s meaningful,” said Schwartz.
Fifth-graders Madeline Parks and Genevieve Fennern love being part of the group.
“This group is about sharing and collecting food and toys for kids and people who don’t have anything,” Parks said.
“It makes me very happy to see people smile and when they get something for the first time or when they get something they don’t usually get,” said Fennern.
And while helping others is important at Basswood, students are also taught to take care of themselves. Fuel Up to Play 60 is a newer program that fifth-graders TJ Ruhr and Avery Yarbrough are part of.
“The program helps us encourage our friends and other students the importance of being healthy and playing 60 minutes a day,” said Ruhr.
“Fuel Up to Play 60 is a fun leadership program to teach kids how to keep a healthy mind and body,” said Yarbrough.
Various young leaders that Basswood Elementary hopes will continue to connect and grow wherever they go into the future.
“We’re helping kids develop skills but also foster an outward perspective when it’s about service, about generosity, and helping them to be contributing to community.”