Club raises bar for students' behavior

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— More than 50 students that walk the hallways of Soroco High School are playing a numbers game.

They call themselves the Elevens and commit to "on a scale of one to 10, being an 11."

The Elevens Club formed last fall in response to students' concerns about the disparity between schools in the Soroco School District and the people who live in South Routt.

"There is kind of a gap between the community and the schools," club adviser Jeff Seale said. "The kids are trying really hard to bridge that gap."

The students first learned about the philosophy behind an 11-point scale when the school hosted a Bigger Faster Stronger clinic.

BFS clinics, which appear around the country, show coaches and athletes, regardless of their gender or sport, how to train. The total strength and conditioning program allows girls and boys to continuously progress in their sport throughout the year.

The Bigger Faster Stronger magazine featured the Elevens in a recent issue.

Seale, the physical education teacher at Soroco High School, said students wanted to continue promoting the winning philosophy they learned at the clinic.

The creation of the Elevens Club followed.

"The kids were really excited about it," Seale said.

The idea of "being an 11" originally found an audience with the athletes at school, senior Willie Spicer said.

Then it spread to all students, regardless of their extracurricular activities, he said.

Spicer meets weekly with a core group of students who relay their ideas to the larger Elevens group.

Going to the 11th degree, he said, means he and his peers hold themselves to a higher standard.

"You try to better yourself," Spicer said. "You make yourself stand out and make it better for other people."

Values, such as honesty, are stressed. Suggestions for avoiding conflict are offered.

But the group members do more than talk about good conduct. They try to live it.

The Elevens participated in such projects as painting the end zones of the football field and organizing a spirit bus to shuttle fans to and from away sporting events.

The club instills pride in the students, and hopefully, Seale said, the community.

The Elevens saved their biggest project for the end of the school year. Students in the club intend to bring the South Routt community and the schools together for a volunteer appreciation night.

The high school gym will host the May 6 event, where one girl or boy younger than 18 and one man or woman 18 or older will be recognized as the volunteer of the year in South Routt.

The Elevens would like to see all of South Routt at the event, where they plan to disperse themselves throughout the crowd to encourage interaction between the community and the students throughout the dinner and awards ceremony.

It's an evening they hope will become an annual event.

The students applied last Thursday for a $1,000 grant to cover the costs of the appreciation night and expect to hear back on its approval by April 24.

Now the students are looking for a guest speaker and putting together criteria that will appear on a nomination form.

The forms should begin circulating next week.

"We're just trying to get it started," Spicer said.

Anyone can nominate a South Routt resident for volunteer of the year.

Seale and the Elevens want their club to grow and possibly include students from the middle school.

As one teacher remarked to him, Seale said, "We'll take anyone who wants to do better for themselves."

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