Lochburn Middle School eighth grader Calista Coleman loves to read. She enjoys the feeling of holding a book in her hands and the sensation of getting lost in a world of science fiction or fantasy. It’s even better if the world is dystopian.
Books can be an escape, but their themes can strengthen our values. Many of the books Calista enjoys tell stories of inclusion and equality wrapped in fantastical scenery and relatable characters.
Calista believes in the power of inclusion. She doesn’t like seeing others get left out and is always quick to make a new friend if it means helping someone feel included.
“I wouldn’t say I search for people who feel left out,” she said. “But if I see someone sitting alone at school, I invite them in. I think all people should be treated equally and have a fair chance at everything.”
At Lochburn, Calista has had the opportunity to continue talking about inclusivity with others while taking on a new role as a leader. Last year, she joined ASB for the first time, serving as school treasurer. Calista has learned how to lead by example while taking on a more active leadership role in the school.
“She is a student other kids can turn to for help,” said Lochburn Principal Greg Wilson. “She models leadership through her day-to-day actions. I think other students pick up on her behavior and behave better because of her.”
Leadership is one of the Four Pillars of Student Success and provides a strong foundation to help young people develop into active learners and strong citizens. Calista models leadership through her commitment to inclusion and willingness to bring people together.
In her AVID class, Calista has the opportunity offer help with challenges that other students are facing in their classwork. AVID is a college readiness class that emphasizes growing writing, critical thinking, teamwork, organization and reading skills.
Calista loves being able to help those in need, and AVID gives her the perfect chance to step up and become someone others go to for help. Her quest for inclusivity began, in part, because of the fictional worlds she reads about but it continues in the real world thanks to the opportunities she has had at Lochburn to help and connect with others.
About Clover Park School District: Clover Park School District is an award-winning school district dedicated to creating promising futures for all students. The district is the 27th largest in Washington state and the fourth largest of 15 in Pierce County, with an enrollment of more than 12,800 students. Clover Park School District is located immediately south of Tacoma, serving the Lakewood and Joint Base Lewis-McChord communities.Print This Post