K-Kids can be excellent forums for students to exercise the courage to engage. Someone who exercises the courage to engage decides to live a life of collaboration and not isolation. More than ever before, young people need to develop the capacity to effectively interact with others face-to-face. The service club experience at a young age can help students accept that collaboration is a key to success, can enhance their knowledge of how to build coalitions to address community needs, and can develop their ability to build strong human connections through conversation.
What does the courage to engage look like? You’ll notice members:
- Show eagerness to engage with each other and build relationships.
- Become more and more approachable to others because of their interpersonal skills.
- Communicate more effectively in personal conversations and small groups.
- Work out conflict together with minimal help from advisors.
- Show confidence when engaging with people outside of the club, including school and community leaders.
How can you support members in exercising their courage to engage?
- Engage members in recruiting peers to get involved in service.
- Encourage the club officers to include fellowship time at every meeting, using “icebreaker” activities to promote interaction.
- Set aside time for educating the members on core skills, such as proper introductions, active listening and social interactions.
- Pay attention and show appreciation to members who exhibit a high degree of excellence in social skills.
- Provide opportunities for club members to interact with adult leaders and parents in ways that allow them to practice social skills.