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Daily Journal Project Helps Students Focus on Their Futures

Milton Hershey School houseparents Eric and Ashley Bennett have integrated this year’s Opening of School theme, Our Future in Focus, into their student home activities including a daily journal project. They plan to use the theme as a guidepost to explore various careers and leaders that have shaped history.

“This year’s theme has created engaging conversations about various vocations,” Eric said. “We started out talking about what students want to be when they grow up, but it has evolved to students now asking questions about job requirements for various careers.”

A school-wide initiative, The Compass Project, encourages students to develop character and leadership skills through classroom and student home lessons. The curriculum challenges students to reach their greatest leadership potential.

As a long-term student home project, the Bennetts have asked their Middle Division girls to use their journals as a method of daily self-reflection; an extension of The Compass Project.

Student home Lebanon working on journal project

“This student project is focused on developing a routine of positive self-talk and understanding personal growth,” Ashley said.

Every night, the Bennetts ask their students to answer one question in their journal as a reflection of the day, “What did you do to get better today?”

“We will start a new journal each year with the same question,” Eric said. “Then, they can look back years from now and see how their answers changed based on their experiences, understanding, and writing ability.”

Student home Lebanon working on journal project

Currently, student home Lebanon students are completing long-term goal sheets and identifying challenges they can overcome in the short-term.

“The culmination of this journal project will (hopefully, COVID-19 permitting) lead to a student home vacation centered around the school year theme,” Eric said.

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