In 1998, Greg Ross, a male teacher who grew up lacking many of the same social skills and world view many of his students lacked, had a desire to aid the lives of inner-city boys in his community. With this in mind, he established the K.I.N.G.’s Club. This project was established to confront the needs and present issues of today’s inner-city youth. Its purpose is to target young inner-city males, showing them they are able to affect, challenge, and change some of the things they may not like about their community despite their age, race, size, or abilities. But, Ross wanted these boys to know that change must first start from within. This idea created the core objective of this project. The core objective is to strengthen each young man’s social skills and his awareness of his ability to positively impact his community. Thus, we are making leaders that are not fearful of change, and will tackle challenges that will aid others around them.
How does it work?
The K.I.N.G.’s Club is separated into four (4) distinct themes. The four themes are:
1. (S) Social Skills
2. (A) Arts and Culture
3. (V) Volunteering
4. (E) Ethics and Values
As the acronym spells SAVE, this is our intention; to save every young man and their potential to be successful.
Three of the four themes have 9 lessons, with "Volunteering" having 7 lessons since the lessons are more project-based. With most schools having 36 weeks of school and a few weeks set aside for assessment, it is the perfect alternative for either project based instruction or after school programming to address the specific need of making young men understand how they can impact the world in a positive way.
With countless numbers of young men a project of this nature could affect, it is structured for flexibility. It could be used in an educational setting, after-school program, or for private/ nonprofit organizations. We built this program to fit guidelines of various standards. These standards are:
Praise and Accolades
With the permission of Paducah Public Schools (Kentucky), a program was planted at Cooper-Whiteside Elementary School in 1998. The data was measured from 1998-2006. Although there were other factors involved in these improvements, the improvements are very hard to overlook.
K.I.N.G.’s Club Accomplishments
In the beginning, the students with the highest discipline referrals in the school were recommended to the K.I.N.G.’s Club. However, students on all levels desired to be a part of the program which extended the growth throughout the building. This shows ALL STUDENTS can be successful at something.
Since then, the program has been a part of Paducah Independent, Jefferson County (Louisville, KY), and Fayette County (Lexington, KY) Public School Systems. As you looked at these statistics, do not think they are isolated to one area. We truly believe these statistics could be just as good, if not greater, in other areas as well. We were able to first test this project in a difficult situation. The original schools (Paducah Ind.) we used to measure the project served 7 government housing authorities (projects) in less than a 10-mile radius. We saw boys that thought they had to fight to solve a problem, learn how to communicate, even if it meant agreeing to have different opinions. We saw boys whose favorite words where, “I don’t care!” become overjoyed and excited about helping others. We saw boys who lacked social skills learn the importance of etiquette and common courtesy. More than anything………., we saw change.
And You Can Too!