According to Principal Betsy Smith, Leadership Day was held in order to provide all students with opportunities to be leaders, to welcome families and community members to learn more about the school’s implementation of The Leader in Me program, and to celebrate as a community the past year of the student growth and learning.
The highly-successful The Leader in Me program is based on Franklin Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It teaches 21st-century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader. Other schools in Shelby County participating in The Leader in Me program include Oak Mountain Elementary School, Montevallo Elementary School, and Vincent Elementary School, which is one of only 202 Leader in Me Lighthouse Schools worldwide.
The Leadership Day event at Elvin Hill Elementary began with students welcoming parents and other visitors to their classrooms, where they shared books, poems, and other writing samples. Many of the young authors read their works aloud either in front of the entire classroom or in smaller reading circles.
Next, visitors participated in school tours, which included stops throughout the schools. Some of the highlights of the tour included the library, where students’ personal learning projects were displayed, and the art room, which had student’s leadership binders available for review. Parents also made stops in the Fourth Grade Poetry Café and the Music Room to learn more about the 7 Habits.
A closing assembly was held that afternoon, which featured special guests Superintendent Randy Fuller, Columbiana Mayor Stancil Handley, District Attorney Jill Lee, and others. At the assembly, Smith said she was so excited to witness the leadership skills of the students on display, including their excellent behavior. She noted that she saw students greeting visitors and their shaking hands while also helping them to sign in. The students also gave directions to visitors, led school tours, and helped younger students find the correct classrooms for the book share activity. Smith said she was proud to see every student reading their published writing, sharing personal learning projects and leadership binders, and helping to teach the visitors about the 7 Habits.
Both parents and students expressed their appreciation of the event.
“For Leadership Day, I taught Habit 4 Think Win-Win to all the people on the tours,” said second-grader Emily Dixon. “At first, I was nervous, but then I practiced and it was really fun because I got to speak up in front of four groups.”
“ I was a greeter. I liked shaking people’s hands and welcoming them to our school,” added second-grader Bailey Lee.
Parent Summer Endfinger, whose children are in kindergarten and second grade, wrote a note to Smith expressing her gratitude for all of the hard work that went into planning the event.
“It was exciting to see so many parents involved,” said parent . “I loved the idea of giving each student the chance to be a leader. I feel like each student rose to the occasion – even students who were nervous worked through the nerves to complete their responsibilities. It was a fun day and one I hope we will do again!”