Leadership Family Night encourages habits of effective leadership

Leadership Family Night encourages habits of effective leadership
The San Marco Cleanup Crew: Piper Halil, Jeneva Hayes, Lila Poole, Sophia MacDowell, Ava MacDowell, and Sarah Maloney

Hendricks Avenue Elementary students are not only learning language arts, math, science and history, they are learning to be leaders. As a Leader in Me school, all students from kindergarten through fifth grade develop leadership skills through lessons based on Stephen Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”  

Leadership training doesn’t stop with the students, however. All teachers and staff underwent extensive training to implement the program, and the school hosted its first Leadership Family Night Oct. 25 to better inform parents of how they can encourage these habits at home. During this event, parents, students, faculty and staff enjoyed activities centered around the seven habits noted in the book. Everyone helped decorate banners that hang in the school, reminding shareholders of Hendrick’s mission: We lead with compassion, creativity, and curiosity.

 The Leader in Me model has been adopted by thousands of schools since its inception in 1999 and launch by FranklinCovey Education. According to the Leader in Me website, “[it] is an evidence-based, social-emotional learning process—developed in partnership with educators—that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.” 

Locally, students are taking what they learn at school and using the habits to help the community. On Family Leadership Night, a group of fourth-grade students conducted a bake sale to raise money for the Smile Train, a national charity that performs cleft pallet repairs. They were inspired by an article they read in class and used the skills from the leadership program to arrange the sale. The Hendricks students raised over $500 at the bake sale, which will pay for two children to have the surgery.

Julian Norris and Lucy Pearson
Julian Norris and Lucy Pearson

Several boys held a lemonade stand and donated their proceeds to the Humane Society, and another group of students have created the San Marco Cleanup Crew. One member of the crew is Sarah Maloney. She said her favorite habit is synergize, remarking “This habit is important because if we all work together, we can get a lot more done. They didn’t put a man on the moon alone. They did it together.” The group gathers once a month to clean up around San Marco.

Through the lessons, students learn to apply these habits in all walks of life. For example, HAE fifth-grader Lucy Pearson said her favorite habit is to begin with the end in mind because it helps her reach her goals. Currently, Pearson’s goal is to make the Landon soccer team, so she knows that she will have to train hard to reach her goal. Pearson also won a leadership award for this habit. Julian Norris and Burke Scharer agreed that their favorite habit is to put first things first, which means they complete their school work before playing.

Through this program, Hendricks Avenue Elementary students are learning that all members of the community can be leaders and will take these skills with them as they face challenges in the future.

Submitted by Leslie DeVooght

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