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posted by: Micah Jacobson 3/15/2013 | Category: Inspiration

Get the Right Leaders On the Bus!

Leader recruitment is underway. Are you revamping your application process at all this year?  Here are a couple of quick ideas to inspire your process!

Demographic Maps: At Merrill High School in Wisconsin, they have added a map section of the application. Leaving a 3 inch space on one page of the application they ask leaders to draw where they sit in the commons area for break and for lunch.  Link Coordinator Amy Heimerl says, "Since I kind of know where each of the groups sit in the commons, I can build a map of my leaders and make sure that I am getting a diverse mix!"

Eyejot videos: Nagle Middle School in Cincinnati had a problem. With the popularity of WEB exploding, they had more than 300 applications to sort through. "Trying to sort through that many applications and remember each kid was really difficult," says Amy Wettengel, WEB Coordinator. They started requiring students to submit a 1 minute video through the eyejot.com website. They set up the account so that each of the WEB coordinators can watch the videos at any time. They ask the potential WEB Leaders to answer the question "Why do you want to be a WEB leader?" and to make themselves stand out.

Use other teachers: At Eagan High School in Minnesota, they bring in a panel of other teachers beyond their 4 person Link team to review the applications. "Having other teachers in the room not only gives us a lot more buy-in as to who our leaders are, but also gives us a much more diverse perspective on who the kids are."

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posted by: Carolyn Hill 2/13/2013 | Category: Inspiration

Paczki are deep-fried, jelly filled pastries that are traditionally eaten on Fat Tuesday. While originally a Polish tradition, the practice continues in the Midwest where Polish immigrants brought their culture generations ago. And, lucky for us, we were hosting a WEB and Link Crew Basic Training in Michigan on Fat Tuesday…so bring on the Paczki! Yummy! And what a great opportunity to have cultural experience (fortunately, when it’s a cultural experience by the way, the calories don’t count!). 

With the Paczki came a conversation about other cultural experiences and how culture gets formed. Culture is formed by traditions, philosophies and practices committed by a group again and again. Families have a culture. Circles of friends have a culture. Towns and cities have a culture. States have a culture. Regions have a culture. And, yes, schools have a culture.

If someone were to spend an hour in your school, what would they say your culture is? What would it feel like? What would they see? Would they want to spend more time there? Or would they be looking for the exit door quickly? What we do each day, creates our school culture and WEB and Link Crew are integral parts to creating a school culture.

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posted by: Boom Boom Room 1/25/2013 | Category: News

 

It’s that time of year again! Training sessions for our high school and middle level bullying prevention programs, Link Crew and WEB, are in session throughout the US and Canada, now through June.

Whether you’re a trailblazer bringing the program to your school for the first time or a new member of an existing program, you’ll be challenged, have fun, and return to your school with the tools, strategies and energy to implement successful Link Crew and WEB bullying prevention programs.

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posted by: Micah Jacobson 1/10/2013 | Category: Inspiration

It’s difficult not to think about Goal Setting this time of year. Resolutions are in the air and many of you have probably made a few of your own. The making of resolutions, of course, is followed by the breaking of resolutions. Goals set are sometimes achieved and sometimes not.

Part of the problem could be that many kinds of goal setting don’t work. You’ve probably heard the basic outlines of goal setting: we are supposed to make them “SMART” - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. However, we are also supposed to “reach for the stars” and set huge ambitious goals.

Does goal setting like this actually work? Well, yes and no.

Small, focused goals that are believed to be well within reach turn out to be far more motivating that “Big Huge Audacious” goals. These goals should be SMART and communicated clearly to everyone who can help achieve it.

Some Link Crew and WEB programs focus on specific goals like:

 

•  Getting 90% of 6th graders to orientation this year

•  Personally checking in with each of our students in the first two weeks

•  Reducing tardies among freshmen by 10% in the first semester

 

These kind of targeted, focused, time-bound goals can be helpful, but even these aren’t completely necessary to have a fantastic program.

For Brian Scully at Starpoint Middle School in New York, they focus on large themes that align with the strengths of their current WEB leaders.

“For this year's group, who are very generous and empathetic, we have focused on really reaching out one on one. Last year’s leaders were a more energetic, loud, dance party kind of group so we did bigger events. Our goals match the strengths of our leaders.”

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posted by: Boom Boom Room 11/30/2012 | Category: Inspiration

It’s so nice to see a comment like this come through on our Boomerang Project Facebook page, even long after our student transition program orientations are wrapped up! Check it out:

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posted by: Micah Jacobson 11/8/2012 | Category: Inspiration

I wish I remembered who said it. At a Follow Up this year one school told me about doing the “WEB Turkey Chase”. They were planning to have a lunchtime event before Thanksgiving. The leaders were going to dress up like turkeys. Well, I remember they were maybe going to do turkey headbands at least. Each WEB group would then gather with their small group in the school field. After some introductions and reminders, the leaders would have to run away from their group. The group would then try to ‘capture’ their turkey back by surrounding it and holding hands. Only by working together would they be successful. Sounds like a blast right?

It sounded fun to the groups I shared it with at the Follow Ups too. Then someone would ask me for more details and who shared that idea and all I could say was, “Umm.....I don’t remember.” Sound familiar?

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posted by: Boom Boom Room 10/24/2012 | Category: News

With October’s National Anti-Bullying month in full swing, The Boomerang Project’s Link Crew and WEB bullying prevention programs are busier than ever. During the month of October (and every month for that matter), our student leaders go the extra mile in bringing bullying to a halt by lending a helping hand to new classmates, friends, and family members, alike.

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posted by: Mary Beth Campbell 10/11/2012 | Category: Inspiration

Don’t Fall, Double Down

 

The days are getting shorter, the weather cooler, the leaves are changing color and beginning to tumble to the ground. As a season, we call it Fall. What an interesting name for a season. Fall, as a name, more than its next-door neighbors, summer and winter, truly captures the feeling of the season. With the shortened daylight hours, Fall begets a diminishing of activity, a pulling back, as we prepare for the long winter lurking around the corner. 

 

As we pull away and start to hunker down, it becomes really easy to begin to fall off from the commitment to WEB and Link Crew. Orientation is a distant memory at best, regular school days might be feeling like they are bit of a grind and enthusiasm of Leaders (as well as yours) could be waning. Now, more than ever, it is important to double down on commitment to the program and to your Leaders so that they may continue to reach out in support of the 6th/9th graders. Leaders must still continue to be inspired and trained, to give them skills, as well as motivation, to step up when needed. They too are feeling the season; continuing to motivate and inspire them will ensure that they remain united and steadfast in their mission. Right now, no one knows how true this is better than WEB Coordinator, Tom Blair from South Milwaukee Middle School in Wisconsin.

 

Tom recently sent us this story that captures the necessity of WEB beyond orientation day and, more significantly, the role it can play in a crisis:. . .

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posted by: Boom Boom Room 9/17/2012 | Category: News

The excitement over Boomerang Project transition programs continued all the way through the 2012-2013 ‘back to school’ season, welcoming students and helping change the culture and climate of thousands of schools in North America.

All of the action grabbed a lot of attention and we’re so proud of all the Link Crew and WEB Coordinators as well as the Leaders who helped kick-off this school year!

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posted by: Micah Jacobson 9/11/2012 | Category: Inspiration

Do you know about Meghan Vogel? She’s the high school track athlete who made national news this last May when she helped a fellow runner cross the finish line after the girl collapsed on the track. We’re proud to state that Meghan also happens be a Link Crew Leader at her school, West Liberty-Salem in Ohio.

In case you missed it, here’s the video footage as well as a TV interview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGK21xZdwWw

Meghan’s selfless act got me thinking…are we ever really off?

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