Capturing Kids’ Hearts (CKH) is a program which promotes and sustains the social-building of relationships between teachers and students. CKH believes if educators reach a student’s heart, the educator also has his head. Creating positive relationships make a difference in student achievement. One step in creating such relationships is to view the learner as an equal part in developing the classroom social contract. Through the social contract students take ownership for their learning and when expectations aren’t met, consequences aren’t surprises since they helped create them. When the social contract is infringed, four questions are asked: What are you doing? What should you be doing? Were you doing it? What are you going to do about it?
Another essential component of CKH is greeting and shaking each student’s hand at the doorway each morning. Through handshakes and greetings each morning, HAPA teachers demonstrate they care about students’ daily attendance and how students perform in and outside of school. We cannot change the students’ home environment, but we can make the learning classroom a positive, engaging, and nurturing environment where students are socially and academically challenged to maximize their full potential.