The Journey of a Champion High School Program is a character education and service-learning curriculum for students in grades 9-12. Through this program, students learn how to act as responsible, caring and involved citizens who respect themselves and others and succeed academically.
The Journey of a Champion invites them to learn about and reflect on the challenges they and their contemporaries face. It places those challenges in a historical context and leads students to develop strategies and skills that will help them confront those challenges. The “destination” for the Journey is students creating and planning sustainable service and civic participation.
Dr. Robert Shumer, an independent evaluator who conducted an in-depth review of our curricula, stated that our Journey of a Champion High School Program is: “…at the forefront of educational reform…Anyone concerned about reducing dropout rates, improving attendance, and most importantly, improving students’ attitudes toward learning, academic achievement, and civil behavior should take a serious look at what Champions has to offer.”
The Journey high school curriculum:
- Can be offered as an English, social studies, civics and government, humanities, psychology, or elective course or integrated into existing curriculum
- Meets social studies and English/language arts standards and the character education and service-learning requirements as mandated by the state of Pennsylvania’s Department of Education
- Uses carefully chosen multicultural literature, primary historical sources, and videos and arts media
The curriculum affects positive change in students by:
- Developing character that leads to civic responsibility through community involvement
- Engaging students in active learning that demonstrates the relevance and importance of academic work for their life experiences and career choices
- Increasing awareness of past and current social issues as they relate to academic study and personal growth
- Broadening and deepening perspectives of diversity issues, causes and solutions to conflicts, respect for self and others in their communities.
- Enhancing critical thinking skills (with particular emphasis on conflict resolution, decision making, and problem solving)
Students who participate in the Journey of a Champion High School Program demonstrate improvement on measures of prosocial behaviors, such as social responsibility, altruism and caring, and had fewer disciplinary issues.
The Journey of a Champion includes a teacher guide, student guide and reflection journal. It is divided into 5 units which can be taught in one semester or one year of study, or be vertically integrated into a 4 year high school curriculum.