Reed Elementary School in the Ladue School District introduced “High Five Friday” in the 2016-2017 school year. The concept is simple.
“We’d get off the school bus and there’d be firefighters in front of the door, or other people, and they’d be giving high-fives,” said Trisiah Edwards, a fourth-grader.
Other groups have greeted students Friday mornings as they entered the school. Police officers, city officials, and executives with Monsanto have stood at Reed’s entrances early in the morning, ready to give students a warm welcome.
“It gets a smile on my face every time! I actually noticed this morning,” said Lilly Tourville, a fourth-grader.
Reed School Tech Specialist Jill Badalamenti said she heard about the High Five Friday idea while listening to a radio program. She pitched the idea to school administrators.
“It’s really to just get kids excited about the day and kind of connect with community members,” she said.
High fives do more than connect students with the community. They also build self-confidence.
“Sometimes, if I’m on a test, that’s kind of challenging, or a little frustrated, I think of how I felt at that moment,” Tourville said.
That single moment makes a difference for Edwards, as well.
“Sometimes I would get scared to hit the ball or something. And then, if they can give me a high-five, it will cheer me up and make me want to hit the ball more,” he said. “It boosts you up, makes you more excited. Like, I can do this.”