“It feels good to be in the Leader In Me Club,” said third-grader Payton. “You get to do programs and learn how to be a leader.”
That sentiment was echoed by third-grade students at Newtown Elementary at the Leader in Me end-of-year program.
The Leader In Me program is in practice at the Bayside Tri-Campus, consisting of Diamond Springs, Bettie F. Williams and Newtown Elementary Schools. It teaches leadership and life skills to students while focusing on Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
“We are a Leader In Me School and I really love for the children to show their leadership skills,” said Delores Simpson, club sponsor. “Gives them an opportunity to shine. They have a light and we want to let that light shine by practicing the seven habits every day and showing what they’ve learned.”
Students were able to demonstrate for their parents how they use those habits every day.
Kimani’s favorite habit is Put First Things First. “Because I like to do my homework first before I play every day.”
“My favorite habit is Beginning With the End in Mind,” said Payton.
Throughout the year, the club does fundraisers, operates the school’s United Way campaign, creates messages pertaining to the SOLs on the morning announcements and organizes the school spirit day.
“I wanted to be in the Leader In Me Club,” said Dominic. “So I can learn to lead others to follow the good path, the path to success.”
“This year the children were able to decide what club they wanted to be in,” Simpson explained. “They had to submit a letter and an application and say why they wanted to be in the club and we made our selections from there.”
Emmaline explained that her favorite habit is Seek First to Understand. “I have to listen twice or do things twice before I can actually understand it.” The third-grade student continued, “It’s a habit that me and my brother need to learn.”
“We have this mindset of training little children to be leaders,” said Simpson. “You know they can run the classroom; they can pretty much run the school; you put them out there and they know what to do. I believe you can train children to do anything and it helps them with their growth, their self-growth.”