Chester the Chipmunk Fosters a Sense of Unity among Children at Project Transformation

Cristian Gomez, Site Coordinator at Casa Linda UMC

This school year at Casa Linda, we introduced Chester the Chipmunk as the site mascot. The inclusion of a mascot has been very positive with our children. With the help of Chester, we have fostered a sense of unity with our kids. It has also helped with their behavior, as taking Chester home for the weekend is an incentive that they must earn. Every Wednesday, we send home Chester and his diary with the kid who best exhibits our five core rules: Be a Friend, Learner, Listener, Leader, and Respectful. The kids are fully invested in our incentive system and they continue to model excellent behavior in order to get their chance with Chester. The child who takes Chester home is required to document their daily adventures with him.

Chester is beloved by the children and although he is stuffed, the kids often bring him acorns they pick up on the way from school to our site location at Casa Linda. One of our 4th grade boys has even said he wants to be just like Chester because he always listens.

It amazes me every day how committed the children are to Chester and the team at Casa Linda. They are wonderful kids and it has been a pleasure to work with them this year!

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