To teach our students about good character, Silver Spur Elementary, a public elementary school in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, partnered with Harper for Kids in the 2015-2016 school year. Harper for Kids helped and supported us in incorporating legendary Coach John Wooden's Pyramid of Success into our character education program. For the past 3 years, Harper for Kids have provided us with posters, lessons plans, assemblies and handouts that have allowed us to teach monthly character traits from Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success and have led us and are leading us to the highest standards for our school. This year Silver Spur has been awarded National Blue Ribbon 2017. We attribute part of our success to our close partnership with Harper for KIds. This partnership have resulted in a better education and a better school for everyone.
Silver Spur Elementary
Harper For Kids helps to teach children how to be successful in life and emphasizes the message that real success is putting forth your personal best in everything you do. The “Pyramid of Success” is an amazing tool to teach kids the meaning of the various positive character traits by using characters that they can relate to. My name is Cheryl Roberts and I am a kindergarten teacher at Woodland Elementary School in Costa Mesa, CA. Our school began using the “Pyramid of Success” over twelve years ago. Over the years, as the program took root, I have noticed a change in how students approach challenges, both academically, as well as socially. When students experience success in learning a new skill or concept, I often hear, “I never gave up. I showed determination.” When dealing with conflicts in the classroom or playground we talk about how, “to make friends you need to be a friend.” As part of our “Star of the Week” activities, the student who is the “Star of the Week” will sit in front of the class as their classmates come up with words that describe that student and I write the words on a Thinking Map. The first year I started this, as the year progressed and the class learned the meaning of the various character traits, I was amazed at how they began using character traits to describe each “Star of the Week.” They’d say, “He’s a loyal friend. She’s enthusiastic. He is cooperative. She’s hard-working.” When students use these character traits to describe their classmates I’ll ask the “Star of the Week” if they agree and why. It is rewarding to hear kindergarteners back up their responses with examples explaining how or why they are cooperative or determined, etc. It shows they truly understand the meaning of the building blocks. Our school has murals of the characters from the “Pyramid of Success” painted all around the walls of the school. It helps create a positive atmosphere for everyone walking around the school. They’re a constant reminder that we are all striving to become our “Personal Best.”
The Harper for Kids Foundation is an amazing program! Tim and Peanut are wonderful leaders and such a positive influence. The Foundation sends a fantastic message through the Wooden Pyramid, which is something children of all ages can relate to. Harper for Kids truly cares about each student and it shows through their heavy involvement from the start. Whether it's setting up assemblies, introducing the Pyramid, answering questions, surprising the kids with special guests, Tim and Peanut are present. Always guiding the schools through the program that best compliments the community. Harper for Kids is truly special.
- Jennifer Sicklick, Past PTA President
Silver Spur Elementary School, Palos Verdes CA
They do so much to promote happiness and success to the students. First, they help paint the Pyramid of Success on one of the yard walls. Then, they provide a copy of the Pyramid of Success for each student to take home. They also provide a bigger copy so that teachers can hang them in their classrooms. They also give each classroom a copy of the " Pyramid of Success" book. The words in the book are child friendly and the message is clear for students to understand. They really understand consistency in order for students to learn the concept and think about it throughout their day - in or out of school. In addition, they communicate with teachers to set up a time where for Kindergartners get an introduction presentation about the Pyramid of Success. Other grade levels get USF athletes to come to their classes and share parts of the Pyramid of Success and which traits they find most important to them. The students are always happy and love working with the athletes.
Harper for Kids has been instrumental to our school's success. The program has offered us presentations and assemblies that encourages and inspires our students to climb the pyramid of success each and everyday, in and our of the classroom.
Harper for Kids is the best program we have going at Gerald Ford Elementary School! Tim and Peanut come out personally and always bring a tennis pro to talk to our students! The program is a character education program that has brought the amazing Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success to our school! Harper for Kids has provided this free program for our 750 students for over a decade and we could not be happier with the results! Our attendance is up, suspension rates are down, and our test scores are rising! This has a direct correlation with the Harper for Kids foundation! They are amazing!
Harper for Kids has been supporting kids journeys to achieve their personal best at Sunset Elementary for years. Learning about the building blocks on the Pyramid to Success each year deepens student's confidence with their own skills/strengths and helps them take risks to be their very best version of themselves.
Many USF athletes have taken their time to come share their own journeys of success and instill in students the ongoing need to strive for their personal best in all that they do. Tim and Peanut are always so supportive and encouraging, they motivate us all!
As a school we have been working with HfK for over 3 years now. When I first met Tim and Peanut I had no idea what they could bring to our school. Since our first meeting we have worked together to provide field trips and assemblies for our K-5 students around John Wooden's Pyramid for Success. Our students have been provided opportunities to meet student athletes, coaches and engineers that have talked about how they are striving to reach their personal best. Tim and Peanut always bring positive energy when they are on campus. They are super easy to work with and are doing great things for kids. Our students get excited every time they come on campus and I hear all the time how great it was to have Tim do an art lesson with them. HfK helps make a difference for students!
I am the principal at Eagle Canyon Elementary School and we have partnered with Harper for Kids since last year. Our PBIS system is based off of their book, "Inches and Miles." Our students focus on each of the Wooden's building blocks every month. They present at rallies, assemblies and do in class projects based off of the monthly trait. Many of our ideas have stemmed from the Harper for Kids website. We recently received a silver award from the county for our well implemented PBIS system and we thank Harper for Kids for being a part of that. The picture is of our Safe School Ambassadors presenting at one of our rallies.
Having the opportunity to work with Tim and Peanut through their Harper for Kids program has been a great experience. Being in partnership with them throughout my teaching career, I can attest to the fact that their kid-friendly approach to spreading the wisdom of Coach John Wooden's Pyramid of Success has benefited my students greatly. I love how their connection with the USF Athletic Department allows for Tim and Peanut to bring in college athletes that my students can get to meet, and that with the teamwork and positive attitude that they are promoting, that one day my students too may find themselves giving back to the community. I highly recommend Harper for Kids to any teacher that is looking for a resource that promotes wellness, teamwork, and a positive attitude within the classroom setting.
Harper for Kids helped our school get on the right path for instituting a PBIS program. The program had been dormant and no one was left at the school who knew anything about it. Harper for Kids helped us easily develop several key portions of the PBIS program with the Pyramid of Success serving as the foundation of most components including the behavior expectations, referral and recognition areas. The students enjoy the philosophies presented in the John Wooden book and can easily relate to the character blocks based on the way they are presented. Tim and Peanut have made themselves available to answer the simplest of questions that we had and have used their vast network of resources to find us answers to things we thought about doing but had no idea. They are nice people with a great program.
Harper for Kids is one of the best youth character development programs I have ever seen in schools. I brought it to the elementary school where I was principal, and my students, parents, and teachers totally loved the program and embraced the Pyramid of Success. Every character trait builds and strengthens students' social emotional learning leading to happier children with greater success in school.
I have personally known Tim and Peanut Harper, founders of Harper for Kids, for over 30 years. It would be hard to find two people more committed to the cause of helping children build character and enabling them to live successful and productive lives. The kids become engaged through sports and other fun activities and learn that by giving their best, they will always come out on top – win or lose.
I believe so strongly in what they do, that I joined Harper for Kids as a Board Member in 2013. I strongly support their mission.
They have been very supportive and proactive in getting their character program into our school this year. We were provided with all the materials to integrate it into our school, as well as provided us with a great assembly to 'kick-off" our program for the year. We already have follow-up assemblies in the books for later this school year. Additionally, the communication has been very transparent and consistent. Great to work with.
As a teacher at Reilly School, I have seen the wonderful benefits of the Harper for Kids program. We recently had 200 parents attend a special presentation at our school, and then enthusiastically use the Pyramid of Success at home. It is the foundation of our school's behavior program, and very successful with all of our students.
Tim and Peanut are always available to motivate our kids, and we love having them at Reilly! Their program are a reason we have had parents choose Reilly school for their kids!
I am a board director of Harper for Kids and am pleased at the growth of the organization over the last several years. Harper for Kids now serves over 100,000 students in over 100 schools both in and out of California. I think this growth is attributable to the broad outreach of the organization through the implementation of the mission of the program by the individual teachers and educators in schools as well as through events that Harper for Kids conducts throughout the year. The close coordination between Harper for Kids staff and the educators who have incorporated and adopted the mission of the organization (including school visits and presentations by Harper for Kids) has been instrumental in maintaining the continuity of the Harper for Kids' message as the students progress through their education.
Harpers for kids transformed our school districts character education program from anemic and emptying to one that's practical and inspiring. The Harpers are energetic, positive, ever so helpful. Every time you speak with them you feel better about the work you were doing. The Harpers inspire you to do more to help kids.
Since 2012, Tim and Peanut Harper, founders of Harper for Kids foundation (HFK) have been supporting and cheering on the students, staff, and community of Reilly Elementary School. During these past 5 ½ years, HFK have been a major factor in teaching our students the importance of good character from the traits on Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. Through their yearly visits, valuable guest speakers, interactive assemblies, classroom lessons, uplifting and informative Parent Nights, and continued encouraging words and ways, the Harpers strengthen our Character Education program and motivate our students to learn and live by the Pyramid of Success.
We started our partnership with the development of a new tennis program at our school. The Harper for Kids foundation supported us with teacher workshops, a tennis day clinic for the students, teaching materials and resources for equipment. The HFK even made sure we were able to have tennis courts painted on our playground. We continue to teach the blocks of the Pyramid of Success during play while learning the fundamentals of many sports and game activities.
Tim and Peanut are wonderful about keeping in touch and providing whatever is needed to keep the students excited about learning and practicing good character. They are both very reachable and spend the time needed to plan the perfect lessons or assembly that work for our school. The kids look forward to their visits and so do I, knowing that I will always get some good ideas to think about over the next few months.
Since we have started teaching and practicing the Pyramid of Success within our Character Education program, which has included HFK, we have seen a decline in discipline problems and rise in compassion, friendships, loyalty and our students have a true understanding of what it means for them to give their best effort in all that they do. It has proven to be an excellent fit for our school and so has Harper for Kids.
Tim and Peanut have become part of our Reilly School family and our students embrace them as much as they have embraced the message they bring with them about always giving 100% of your best effort. Their dedication to the lives of children and their future success is amazing. The energy, enthusiasm, determination and overall team spirit felt from their visits send such positive vibes throughout the Reilly campus that it lingers on for weeks! Reilly has made a friend in the Harpers and our students are learning to be more successful and more compassionate people because of them, their visits, and program. In turn our students are learning to pass on their knowledge of success and hopefully help encourage more people to be a little kinder, helpful, mindful, and compassionate in the world we live in today. The Harper for Kids Foundation has been a powerful and valuable resource for our school.
Harper for Kids was a great presentation for elementary aged students. Having a pro tennis athlete discuss her difficulties getting to the level she achieved was inspirational for the students. The John Wooden Pyramid of Success sends a positive message for our society today.