Ravenwood Role Models Demonstrate Their 'Tiger Blue'

Aug. 9, 2017 ~ Ravenwood Elementary School Principal Christi Gottschalk knew she was onto something when nearly half of the students eligible to join a particular club got involved. Since the first Tiger Service Club meeting about three years ago, she's welcomed 40 to 50 fifth-graders on a monthly basis as they learn about leadership and being role models. In May, the club received a Promising Practices Award from the Kansas Schools of Character and Character.org.

"Tiger Service Club is a special volunteer group of fifth-grade students who want to make a difference in our school and community by completing activities that promote positive character development through 'Tiger Love' and philanthropy projects," the principal said.

These fifth-graders are doing such a good job with the club that third- and fourth-graders are anxious to grow up so they can join.

"Students in third and fourth grade can see the impact the club makes and want to be part of Tiger Service Club as fifth-graders," Gottschalk said. "Students talk about Tiger Service Club in fourth grade and are excited to join and be a part of the activities they lead."

Some of their activities are serving as greeters for parents attending Back to School Night; collecting gently used Halloween costumes, winter hats and gloves for low-income students in the district; managing the school recycling program; organizing "Penny Wars" to raise money for the Children's Shoe Fund, part of the Olathe Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund; and planning the all-school writing activity titled "Why do you love to learn at Ravenwood?"

One of the biggest roles for Tiger Service Club members is to develop monthly activities to promote positive character in the school and community.

"Tiger Service Club contributes to character development of each member and in our community through the activities they promote," Gottschalk said. "Tiger Service Club students are looked up to as role models in our school by students, staff, and parents. These students are volunteering their time to promote activities in our school that will build positive character traits within themselves, other students, and in school community."

Starting with the first meeting of the school year, Tiger Service Club members show "Tiger Blue" (appropriate and expected behavior) and have their picture taken with a sign that says "Tiger Blue Role Model." They take pictures and make videos to review specific school routines and expectations each week. In February, club members sell Friendship Grams and donate the profits to a family or organization in need. This year's recipient was the Great Plains SPCA Animal Shelter.

None of these compassionate activities went unnoticed by Gottschalk, teachers or parents. In fact, they are the reason she nominated the school for a Promising Practices Award from Kansas Schools of Character and Character.org. Ravenwood staff and students learned in May that they had earned two awards for implementing unique and specific character education programs. From the local school community to the state organization, everyone's excited about the Tiger Service Club's accomplishments and impact on students of all ages.

"Parents have gone out of their way to make positive comments about student helpers at our school event," the principal said. "They comment on the students' welcoming words, how they smile and hold the door, and ask if parents need help."

Staff also notice how club members are good role models by being polite and helping younger students.

"Tiger Service Club activities are making an impact on our community," Gottschalk said. "The group is one of the main reasons Ravenwood has developed students who are caring, kind, helpful, happy and giving!"

check presentation Members of the Tiger Service Club visited Great Plains Animal Shelter to present a check for $701.35.
students prepare snack bags Tiger Service Club members prepared snack bags for the Olathe police and fire departments as well as the school’s business partner, Southside Animal Hospital, as one of their community service projects.
students hold signs about awards Principal Christi Gottschalk and students displayed signs saying “Ravenwood earned two Promising Practice Awards from the Kansas Department of Education and Kansas Character.org for Tiger Service Club and Operation Kindness Tiger. We promote positive character development at Ravenwood.”
student pledges to be role model

Dozens of fifth-graders pledge each year to be a tiger blue role model by joining the Tiger Service Club at Ravenwood Elementary.