Welcome to Kuss Middle School's LEADS Page!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

LEADS or Leadership for Educational Attainment Developed through Service is the collaboration between the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Civic Engagement and the Fall River and New Bedford School Districts. Currently in its third year, LEADS is an award-winning leadership program whereby middle school and high school students have the opportunity to participate in service-projects important to them.
LEADS is a part of the Commonwealth Corps designed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2008 to stimulate volunteerism in Massachusetts. The LEADS program is designed such that University students and staff, known as corps members, work with the students to develop leadership skills through service learning projects to help address social issues in the community.
Our students participate in service-learning projects that are important to them through researching and developing a plan to address community needs. Service-learning is a method that combines community service with learning. Once they have defined their project, the LEADS corps members create fun activities that integrate leadership, communication, and teamwork skills and include field trips, guest speakers, and voluntary out of school activities. By participating in the program, students learn about the importance of education and self-discovery through reflection.
The goals of the program are three-fold:
a) to increase school and civic engagement
b) to increase leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities
c) to further develop student appreciation for and understanding of the importance of educational attainment
In the 2009-2010 year, participants in the program created food pantries, put on a hunger banquet, and built community gardens. This year, we will be focusing on the topics of Sustainability and Healthy Living. They have learned about how to better use the energy they have in their homes, schools and cities as well as how and why it is so important to take the steps to help save our environment. Many of them have taken steps in their own lives to life a more green lifestyle and have explored different and new things because of it. They have taken on the leadership role of educating the rest of their school as well as their cities on the things they've learned and their importance. This spring the students will be focusing on Heathy Living, and learning how to life healthy lifestyles including topics such as physical activity, nutrition and hygine. The student plan to share their knowldge by producing a video full of the information on healthy living. We, as corps members look forward to increasing middle and high school students’ leadership skills and empowering them to believe in themselves while they are helping to better their communities.