Students in Riley Avenue Elementary School are learning to be confident leaders as part of a new, yearlong pilot program.
Spearheaded by second-grade teacher Lauren McDonald, one class in each grade level is participating in comprehensive leadership activities and challenges that are woven into the curriculum. The goal of the program is to teach students skills including responsibility, accountability, problem-solving, adaptability, communication and teamwork.
Among the leadership activities, students set, track and celebrate personal goals using a leadership notebook; create classroom mission statements and take on leadership roles within their own classrooms. Students serve as line leaders, greeters and coat checkers with each position requiring an “application” to be filled out. The activities are based on Stephen Covey’s books “The Leader in Me” and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and Sean Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.”
“This program is transforming schools,” said Ms. McDonald. “Students are gaining skill sets that will develop them into tomorrow’s leaders.”
In addition to spearheading the classroom program, Ms. McDonald is leading a teacher read in which teachers are reading, discussing and researching the leadership texts in an effort to adapt and improve the program within the school.