Evart Elementary students teach community about Leader in Me

EVART — Evart Elementary School students greeted community members Friday for a morning of learning about leadership.

Students directed their visitors from the sidewalk and through the doors, offering a handshake along the way, and into the gymnasium. From there, students offered refreshments and snacks before conducting assemblies to teach their audience about what it means to be a Leader in Me school.

Leader in Me is a leadership-based learning program which teaches students to follow seven habits: Be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand then to be understood, synergize and sharpen the saw.

With these habits, teachers encourage students to work with a goal in mind, together with others and before playing, as well as how to take care of themselves by eating right and getting enough sleep.

This has been the first school year Evart has been a Leader in Me school, which was made possible through support and donations from their audience members Friday, as well as others in the community.

"This has been awesome," Principal Sarah Bailey said about the program. "I think teachers love it, students love it and community members have responded to it."

Bailey said parents have called the office to share stories about students using their leader skills at home. The Leader in Me program has helped the students to behave better, she said.

"When they proposed doing this program, I thought it was very proactive," said Melora Theunick, Local Development Finance Authority executive director. "It's working. The students are getting the message. Children need positive input and this teaches them to be more aware of their actions."