Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Zionsville Community Schools will continue to champion its Strong in Every Way initiative to help students, ZCS Supt. Scott Robison said.
“We continue to work through Strong in Every Way to help young people for life,” Robison. “That is an ongoing initiative for us.”
Strong in Every Way is an initiative Zionsville Community Schools began in 2016 with the goal of developing “connected, resilient, self and culturally adept young people during their formative years,” according to ZCS. Strong in Every Way supports students by providing connections, assets and resources and cultural understandings.
“The first pillar of that is the webs of supports,” Robison said. “Those sorts of activities that are very affiliative actually happened pretty well last year. For instance, there is a speaker series for middle school kids where we have speakers come in to talk to young boys and girls about coming of age as people of leadership and integrity and so on.”
In addition, the school continued to offer extra-curricular activities and sports last year that kept kids engaged, but with modifications. The school district plans to offer similar activities this year.
The center pillar of the initiative focuses on assets and resources by providing children opportunities to learn and grow, such as travelling, which was greatly restricted last year.
“Great experiences are happening with kids and for kids, so it’s in that area that we look (at) the array of opportunities,” Robison said. “We were on the cusp, in the year before COVID, of our best years of pausing experiences where kids go places, do things and, obviously, learn a great deal.”
Robison said a trip to New York City when he was 10 remains one of the most memorable experiences of his life. He said it was instrumental in expanding his interest in the world during his formative years.
The third pillar, cultural understandings, maintains that everyone belongs at ZCS.
“We know that that’s a life and work skill,” Robison said. “That’s a whole skill set and dispositional set of traits that will serve kids well through their whole lives.”