Day one of the 8th grade leadership retreat was dedicated to service learning. The 22 members of the Class of 2015, along with Robert McGehee, Joy Miller, Randy McDonald, and Sam Kindervater, spent the day at the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. Our students worked tirelessly throughout the day, sorting and packing donations of non-perishable food items received from grocery stories and canned food drives. A total of over 16,000 pounds of food was sorted and packed by our team—-nearly 800 pounds per student! This food will be distributed by the food bank to assistance organizations that serve 12 counties in the Birmingham region. The total represents enough food for approximately 11,000 meals and will benefit some of the nearly 900,000 families in Alabama that do not receive enough food on a regular basis. Through their outstanding efforts, our students showed great team spirit, positive attitudes, and leadership. Congratulations, Class of 2015, on a job well done!
Day two of the retreat began on the Highlands School campus. After day one, students enjoyed a pizza dinner at the home of Ms. Vasil, and then spent the night at Highlands. Then, the students ventured by bus out to Red Mountain Park. While there, the students, accompanied by Bo Garrett, Elise Blackerby, and Kavita Vasil, were able to experience both the Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest as well as the Red Ore Zip Tour. Elements of the Beanstalk Forest Challenge Course include rope bridges and other high elements. Participants have the opportunity to choose between varying levels of challenge while in the Forest. The Red Ore Zip Tour takes students from tree house to tree house by a series of exciting zip lines which land the riders in a new tree house each time. The day was a great adventure for all, and most importantly, an opportunity for the Class of 2015 to get to know one another, to work as a team, to collaborate, to problem-solve, and to refine their leadership skills.
The 8th Grade Leadership Retreat is a unique experience that sets the tone for the entire school year. Students return from the Retreat with a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm as they serve the Highlands School community in their important role as leaders this year and beyond!
Highlands School, 4901 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35213, (205) 956-9731
Highlands School's 'whole child' approach to education and commitment to academic excellence, creative expression, and leadership development prepare and motivate students in grades 4k through 8 to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Highlands School holds dual accrediation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Associations of Independent Schools (SAIS).