Learn Your Lock

"Sometimes, the key to unlocking your future, is an actual lock."

About Learn Your Lock

There are plenty of stresses and new obstacles for elementary students who are moving on to their middle school years. On top of obvious things like curriculum, bigger class size, social issues and pressures, and even being responsible for getting themselves to different classrooms each hour, they are also introduced to their own personal lockers. With those lockers come combination locks, a hurdle often overlooked when considering those that new sixth graders face.

To help alleviate that added stress, we have spearheaded an effort to provide training to local fifth grade students on how combination locks work. Volunteers from all over the community help soon-to-be middle schoolers learn their locks.

“We listened to the teachers, counselors, and staff at Lincoln Middle School,” explained a United Way program organizer. “We heard that sixth graders struggled with combination locks. We united our volunteers to fight against this struggle, and we were able to teach locks to fifth graders at Kishwaukee Elementary School.”

In a matter of hours of the first Learn Your Lock event in 2019, the success of the program was obvious – the students’ faces were glowing with pride.

“We had over 20 volunteers teach 50 students over the course of two sessions. Six students knew how to use a combination lock before we entered the school. Fifty knew how to use their lock when we left.”

The margin between early success or failure in middle school can come down to something as simple as navigating the halls or getting a locker open. We’re removing roadblocks and helping students navigate their way to a better middle school experience.

Want to get a jump start at learning your lock?

Share this video with incoming sixth graders in your life for some early practice on how to operate combination locks.

More information

Interested in holding a Learn Your Lock session at your school? Contact Pam Thompson, Community Impact Manager — call 815-968-4200, or email pam@unitedwayrrv.org.