Real world Wednesday
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of a Unity High School education is its emphasis on character development, leadership training, life skills, and service. Every Wednesday will be devoted to these areas, which will account for 20 percent of each student’s academic progress. Wednesday will be a day for the school to invite guest speakers and guest teachers. We are likely to take field trips on Wednesdays, and engage in service projects. Ideally, we will be able to teach all Unity High School students together during some portions of Real World Wednesday, integrating the four grade levels.
The Character and Leadership education are going to be arranged around the four Cardinal Virtues (Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance) and the 24 Character Strengths of Positive Psychology (Appreciate of Beauty and Excellence, Bravery, Creativity, Curiosity, Fairness, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Honesty, Hope, Humility, Humor, Judgment, Kindness, Leadership, Love, Love of Learning, Perseverance, Perspective, Prudence, Self-regulation, Social Intelligence, Spirituality, Teamwork, and Zest).
Everyone can agree that character has a positive connotation. It’s important to break down the concept of character into specific traits so we can identify them in ourselves and others, as opposed to just saying “be a person of character.” Curriculum will be developed in consultation with Mike Erwin, associate professor of Character and Leadership at West Point Military Academy. Mike is a devout Catholic.
Service - Living our Faith is vital to being Catholic and for young people in particular, performing corporal works of mercy is a real opportunity to encounter Jesus. We want our kids to develop the “Other People Matter” mindset, which is quite counter-cultural in today’s world. We envision semester-long service projects (nursing home, inner-city grade schools, homeless shelters, etc.) where kids go for a few hours to the same place each Wednesday. Instead of a one-hitter, kids will get to know the people they are serving, develop relationships with them, and ultimately uplift their humanity. There also may be opportunities to provide significant services to our host parish, Mary, Mother of the Church. Wednesday afternoons will be spent unpacking what happened that morning and then discussing how it fits into faith, society, politics, etc. Also, service teams will afford students opportunities to fulfill leadership roles.
Life Skills - Home economics, wood shop, financial literacy, auto maintenance, self-assessments for discerning vocation, career prep (interviewing, resume building), photography, art, music, theater, computer coding, and other areas will be studied and explored on Real World Wednesday. Entrepreneurship is an important Real World Wednesday consideration, which Unity High School students will study by proposing, planning, and in some cases executing a real business.