BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer
A new leadership program is working to empower students throughout Clarkston elementary schools.
Andersonville Elementary Principal Kim Fletcher describes the program, entitled The Leader in Me, as a way to allow children to find the leader and the greatness in themselves.
The Leader in Me program is based on Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, according to Matt Gifford, principal at Springfield Plains Elementary.
“We’re trying to instill those traits into the students and the building so they have life worthy tools they can take with them beyond the walls of the classroom,” Gifford said. “[The program] kind of helps instill the positive dispositions and residuals we want to see in youngsters as they leave our K-12 education.”
The schools are in their first few years of implementing the program and are just starting to go over the seven habits with the students.
“We’re just excited to see where it goes and how it just helps bring us together as an entire school community,” Fletcher said.
Dee Smith, a Springfield Plains third grade teacher, said the program teaches students to think outside the box and helps them set goals to achieve.
“We’re just trying to develop quality leaders in our kids,” Smith said. “Having them not only be leaders in the classroom and following the seven habits, but also taking that outside of the classroom into their everyday lives.”
Smith says they’re trying to get students to live The Leader in Me lessons and introduce it into their communities, home and social groups.
“We spend a month time learning about that habit, practicing that habit, living that habit in school and out of school, so that it’s just carried over and it becomes a part of who they are,” Smith said.
This is the school’s second year doing the program and Smith said she’s received emails from parents about seeing the habits carryover at home in conversations with their kids and how their kids treat others.