Comer

Students enjoy character education program

NED: Never give up; Encourage others; Do your best

Students at all four Comer schools hosted a character education show in an assembly-style program. Called NED, which stands for Never Give Up, Encourage Others, and Do Your Best, the show is produced by All For Kidz Inc. The NED program is designed to motivate students and inspire teachers to use it to enhance the Comer School Development Program (SDP) in the classroom.

The NED program uses a multi-sensory learning model to inspire students. It was especially well-received at the Comer schools because it aligned with four of the six SDP pathways: ethical, social, cognitive and language pathways. 

Teachers received grade-level lesson plans about the NED performance. In the classroom, teachers were able to draw on parts of the performance as a strategy to connect with the Comer pathways. Teachers also have access to a website for additional classroom instruction and to elaborate on the Comer connection. 

The program was performed by one person. She talked to a life-size cut-out of a cartoon boy named NED who makes the wrong choices on his visit to Hartsville. He gets into trouble with a space alien. She engaged the children with yo-yo tricks and funny noises. The program was modified for Southside students, who are younger that those at West Hartsville, Washington Street and Thornwell School for the Arts.

To reinforce the instruction, the performer interviewed three students at the end of each performance to see if they understood what NED meant and why it’s important. Students received balloon animals and balloon hats for their correct answers. 

The Comer Pathways in action

Southside Early Childhood Center

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The Comer Developmental Pathways are in action at Southside Early Childhood Center in Mrs. Sheila Brodie’s classroom. Students visually experienced the physical, ethical, social, physiological and cognitive pathways. They learned and performed Zumba as part of the physical pathway. They wrote stories to express ethical and cognitive pathways.

Zumba, a dance and fitness program created in the 1990s, is a fun way to begin developing the physical pathway. Brodie says that it's important to assist children as they learn about the physical pathway, and help them learn to make decisions that promote health.

“Helping children learn the importance of exercise at this young age ensures that they will continue as they grow up,” Brodie explains. Just in its second month at Southside, big smiles on the students' faces demonstrated they were all excited about Zumba.

“The students understand the physical pathway so much that we developed a hydration song,” Brodie adds. The song teaches students the importance of staying hydrated after doing any form of exercise.

The students are also learning about the ethical, social, physiological and cognitive pathways at school. After reading The Little Yellow Chicken’s House, the students wrote letters to the little chicken, in an effort to make her feel better after being mistreated by other animals in the story. Students also wrote a second letter telling the other animals that they were not following the pathways, and that their behavior to the little chicken was not acceptable.

Brodie believes the pathways open doors to learning that children understand in many ways. “We were able to see more understanding from the story even before it was over,” she says. “We want our students to use and understand the pathways as experience stories and everyday life,” she adds.

For more information on the Southside Early Childhood Center's Zumba and writing program, contact Sheila Brodie