Leader in Me symposium attendees wowed by area students

Published 7:44 pm Saturday, January 21, 2017

On the last day of the Leader in Me symposium, attendees visited several local schools to see the program in action by talking to the students.
Elementary schools across town opened their doors to guests for Leadership Day, a student-led program for community leaders, parents and conference attendees.
Beechwood Elementary hosted one group at the beginning of the day.
“It went awesome,” principal Tamikia Billings said. “It was student-led. The students did a great job with the guidance of the teachers. From the Lighthouse Team to the people that were in charge of Leadership Day, it was just a great day to see everything come together. Leadership Day is not only these few days, it’s everyday at Beechwood.”
She said the day ran smoothly and the students were genuine in their efforts to show the guests all the things they have learned about being leaders. The school’s Leadership Day theme was Readers are Leaders and each grade was represent by a certain book.
“Everything tied in together with books,” Billings said. “We’re a great reading school. We push AR (accelerated reader) really hard, and just making reading fun because reading is the key to success and learning for students.”
As guests visited each grade, students did skits, told the visitors about their data binders and explained why the seven habits are important. Guests were also given a chance to ask the students questions and talk with them about using the Leader in Me in school.
“It helps people to see what we’re doing at Beechwood. It helps them to really understand that our kids are leaders, and they’re making a positive impact in the school and in the community,” Billings said.
By hosting Leadership Day, Billings said her students learned to work well with others, showcase their strengths and how put their leadership skills into action.
Benton, Ark. teachers and symposium attendees Samantha Seale and Chelsea Collins said they had learned so much from their time in Vicksburg.
“It’s phenomenal,” Seale said. “We don’t have this stuff where we’re at, and we’re excited to be able to take this home with us.”
Collins said the group has learned even more while at the conference.
“We’ve learned a lot about ourselves and changing ourselves before we can make a difference in our students,” Collins said.
Bovina Elementary was another school that hosted guests Friday. The school had a space theme for its Leadership Day with aliens, galaxies and everyone’s favorite Star Wars characters. In a play the students acted out for their visitors, aliens meet Luke, Leia and Yoda as they travel the galaxy looking for a planet with good leadership.
“They end up at Bovina and discover it’s a great place for kids to learn leadership,” music teacher Jennifer Tillotson said.
After the play, the audience was divided into two groups to participate in student-led games and activities that displayed the seven habits. Those activities were centered on teamwork and synergy, like using rubber bands to pick up plastic cups and stack them as a team to make a rocket ship.
“The main focus is to show the adult how kids can learn from the seven habits and incorporate the seven habits on a child’s level,” principal Miki Ginn said. “That’s basically the point in having the adults come in the building, is to see how ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ can be taught to young children and to give them some ideas on how its used in the classroom.”
To end their time at the school, students talked with their guests, showed them their data binders and shared an

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