Leader in Me an example to other communities

Published 11:03 am Friday, April 11, 2014

Two years after Leader in Me was introduced at Bowmar and Bovina elementary schools, the Franklin-Covey program is expanding to another school.
Dana Road Elementary was chosen by a Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce panel to be the third local school in Warren County to implement the student-development program.
For Bovina Principal Micki Ginn, Leader in Me has been a benefit both on paper and with the immeasurable qualities of her students.
“We have had some decrease in disciplinary problems and test scores continued to go up,” she said.
“What they’re really beginning to understand is what all the habits mean,” Ginn said, referencing the self-help book that is the basis of the program, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” published by Stephen Covey in 1989.
Ginn said the most beneficial result of the program has been within the students.
“I think the most impressive part has been seeing the confidence in kids that you normally wouldn’t expect to step up to the plate,” she said. “You’re providing more leadership opportunities for the students.”
The Chamber of Commerce, after first seeing evidence of the program at a convention in 2009, introduced the program locally in 2011.
The Leader In Me program began at Bovina and Bowmar elementary schools during the 2012-13 school year. The programs were launched with private funding of $105,000.
Last year, then-executive director of the chamber Christy Kilroy said the goal was to eventually expand the program to five schools by the 2014-15 school year.
A little over three years in and the program is right on course with the addition of Dana Road. Funding for the program was not available from the state, so the chamber went to private businesses and asked them to support the future of pour community. They should be applauded for recognizing the benefits of investing in our youth.
The way the Leader in Me program has been implemented and the success it had yielded should be an example to other communities that their future is up to them.