Phil Murray

Phil Murray, principal at Long Beach Elementary School in Boulder Hill with the book that spurred the program development. ( photo by Mark Harrington)

A unique club meets in an Oswego SD308 school.

At Long Beach Elementary School in Boulder Hill, fifth grade boys are learning valuable lessons without a grade. They’re even giving up recess. A waiting list exists to join this experience.  

No tests here. That point of time will come as they mature into teens and adults.

But for now, here are the life lessons learned by fifth graders Gage and Cayden.

Cayden went one step further.

Their principal Phil Murray tells about the program. There is no set criteria for student membership. Goal-setting, improving, good study habits, attitude, responsibility, and respect are the tenets and lessons.

Here’s what he has observed with current and former students, who are now in their freshman high school year.

Other district principals have participated in a book study group of "Closing the Attitude Gap" by an east coast principal, Baruti Kafele. In their Long Beach group, Murray described a typical meeting with the 11-year olds.

The hope of the program is…

Of course, an occasional pizza and side discussion of Murray’s favorite baseball team, the Chicago White Sox, helps make the connection between adults and kids even better.

Hear Mark Harrington's "Weekend Story" as heard on WSPY, here: