Davis Magnet School’s Peer Assistance Leadership (PAL) Program was recognized as a 2023 Outstanding PAL Program by the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE). Davis is the only elementary school in Orange County to receive this award.
OCDE recognized Davis’s PAL program earlier this month for its success in developing student leaders who connect with their peers to create a caring, safe and supportive school environment for all students.
“The PAL program has had an incredibly positive impact on the Davis community by helping us create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all,” said Davis Principal Christy Flores.
Davis implemented several events on campus each year to foster student connections and collaboration. These events also help students develop their leadership and citizenship skills by giving back to the community, with a focus on reinforcing kindness, caring and empathy. Among the PAL-hosted events were Socktober, which resulted in more than 1,100 socks being donated to a local nonprofit, Project Hope Alliance; a pajama drive, which benefited our military families at Camp Pendleton; and the sale of Kindness Grams, proceeds from which benefited Never Ever Give Up and the Jessie Rees Foundation.
“We focused on supporting those in need within our community and used these opportunities to educate students and families about how we can work collaboratively to raise money or collect items to benefit others,” said Flores.
In addition, PAL focuses on building relationships across the grade levels, in turn spreading positivity, grace and kindness. PAL members manage recess games twice a week across the grade levels. The PAL members designed Davis’s newest mural, which serves as a backdrop to the new Buddy Bench, generously donated by Patrick’s Purpose and Exchange Club of Newport Harbor. In addition, PAL members performed read-alouds during Kindness Week in each classroom. The read-alouds focused on kindness and empathy, and PAL members participated and led meaningful discussions within each classroom.
“The leadership skills that our PAL members exude is impressive to witness on a daily basis. Catching kids being good is always a fun thing to see, but when we inadvertently see a PAL student mentor a younger student when they have no idea they’re being watched, that’s the epitome of integrity,” said Flores.
Led by Teachers Lisa Holman, Emily Matthews and Kelley Galen, Davis’s PAL program consists of 26 fifth and sixth graders.