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Monday, May 7, 2012

Thelma Jones Elementary Raising Unity and Expectations


Thelma Jones Elementary School has completed its inaugural year of the TJE Unity Program. This new and exciting program has helped to build unity throughout the school by instilling a sense of community, acceptance and tolerance. This program was adapted from the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. Five of our Thelma Jones Elementary staff members had the privilege to attend this prestigious academy and witness firsthand how this program instills a sense of community and pride amongst the students, staff and parents.

The unity program consists of ten houses that serve as a small family within the larger school family. The house concept reinforces school values across the grade levels. Every student is a member of a house. When students enroll, they spin the house selection wheel to determine their house for their entire time at Thelma Jones. Staff members work with their houses to deliver teacher-designed lessons that teach self esteem, tolerance, teamwork and unity.

“Our Unity Program is a positive reinforcement to help raise expectations for our students,” said Dameon Gray, Thelma Jones principal.

Each House is represented by a unique color and name. The house names all mean unity, but the names are in different languages. Each student was given a wrist band and a t-shirt that shows their house color which they wear on Fridays to the Unity Assembly.

 
In conjunction with their new TJE Unity program, the school created ‘The Great 48’ rules to build a true school community that values citizenship, unity and tolerance based on Ron Clark’s Essential 55 list.

“We are excited to bring this Unity building program to our students and we look forward to watching each child grow from their participation,” said Mr. Gray. 

“The TJE Unity program has been a wonderful program for our students,” said Assistant Principal. Latoya Garrett. “It has instilled intrinsic motivation for the characteristics of good citizenship, positive behavior and community among our students. Not only are the students excited about their houses but the parents are excited and supportive as well.”

Part of this year's Unity program outreach included raising money for and participating in the Timberview High School HOG week festivities. Below is a video with Thelma Jones students dancing at the HOG week pep rally:


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Other Mansfield ISD schools have adopted the House-concept within the school to help promote unity, acceptance and tolerance.