“Leader in Me” Program helps both students and teachers thrive

Back 2 School

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Over the last four days, teachers at Sangaree and Devon Forest Elementary schools have been training with the “Leader in Me” program.

Here’s what a few staff members have to say about their experience.

The program is designed to empower students by teaching them skills they need in the 21st Century. “Soft skills” such as teamwork, problem solving, and leadership now will be seen as a priority in the classroom.

Chelsea White is a Kindergarten teacher at Sangaree Elementary School. She believes it’s crucial for kids to start as young as possible when learning those skills.

“There is such a push for academics that usually the soft skills and working with others and things like that gets left behind,” says White. “I think that’s why it’s important to start it as early as possible so that if they do all these things the academics will follow.”

The program is based off of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits for Highly Effective People. Here’s a breakdown of each habit.

Habit Number 7 is “Sharpen the Saw.” Kindergarten teacher Ali Little feels that it has helped her the most.

“I tend to ‘go go go’ and I forget about taking care of myself,” says Little.

“If you’re an empty bucket you can’t pour out and help other people. So being able to re-energize and refresh myself so that way I can pour out and be a vessel to the kids and other people that I interact with.”

The training lasts only 4 days but the schools cannot be considered an official “Leader in Me” school for another 3 years.

At the start of the school year, a coach will be assigned to each school. Periodic check-ins will happen in the next few years before they get their titles.

The title also comes with a $90,000-$120,000 price tag. Local non-profit Charleston Leaders has pledged to fund each school and already wrote checks to start them off.

That being said, they are still hoping the community will help fund the schools’ visions. If you’d like to get in touch with Charleston Leaders to donate; click here.

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