We Are ALL Caring Turkeys!

A group of students

While St. Mary’s is renowned for its academics, our signature character education program, the Bridge to Caring, is the heartbeat of our community. Over the past several years, St. Mary’s has sought ways to highlight students who exemplify the traits in our Bridge to Caring.

“Every Bridge to Caring trait includes tools about how to be a caring and inclusive person. This is a great way to help students practice loving one another,” said Assistant Chaplain & Religion Teacher Mary Henry Thompson.

Previously, the Lower School recognized students by announcing “Caring Turkeys” in Chapel each week. To be a Caring Turkey, students who demonstrated a Bridge to Caring characteristic were be nominated by a faculty or staff member. From there, the Caring Turkey was randomly selected from a drawing among the nominees. 

While presenting the Caring Turkey awards was a popular time during weekly Chapel, it became apparent more students needed to be recognized for their heartfelt efforts to embody and demonstrate these traits.

“We wanted to expand our Bridge to Caring recognition to be a team approach,” said North Campus Counselor Lauren Mitchell. “At the end of the last school year, we had a faculty representative from each grade come together to talk about how to strengthen the program,” 

This year, the recognition program, renamed “Turkeys Care,” has expanded, allowing all students and classrooms to be recognized without limitation.

“In Turkeys Care, we get to shine as a class,” said Kyla Batiste ’32.

Each Lower School classroom has a visual display of the Bridge to Caring. Anytime a student, group of students, or class demonstrates one of the Bridge to Caring qualities, they are recognized with a sticker to be displayed on the poster.

“I like how the whole class gets to join in and we all get to be recognized for being caring,” said Heloise Humphreys ’32.

In addition to earning stickers for their classroom Bridge to Caring chart, Lower School classrooms are also given the opportunity two times per year to lead a segment in Chapel that elaborates on a Bridge to Caring trait.

“This gives every classroom a leadership opportunity in Chapel to share good news and to teach and inspire their peers,” said Mrs. Mitchell.

Perhaps what’s most impressive is the students have come together, without the promise of reward, to show their enthusiasm for the Bridge to Caring characteristics.

“The ultimate reward is their pride in seeing how they demonstrated a trait on the Bridge to Caring,” said Mrs. Mitchell.

  • Lower School

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