School district teaching important life skills

ALMA, Kan. (KSNT) — Students at Wabaunsee Schools are learning more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Through the “Leader in Me” program, the district is also teaching kids important life and leadership skills.

“We’re required to teach content knowledge, and that’s where our passion and our energies go,” said Wabaunsee teacher and Alethic Director Bobbi Murray. “But along with that, teaching [students] the leadership skills to make positive choices.”

Wabaunsee Schools are the first district in Kansas to implement the “Leader in Me” program throughout the entire district.

According the program’s website, “’Leader in Me’ 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.”

The program teaches students “Seven Habits,” based off Stephen Covey’s book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

The habits are Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Synergize and Sharpen the Saw.

This is the first year the program has been fully implemented in the district but it is already making an impact.

“The most exciting thing I see happening is a move from students being dependent to being independent to being interdependent,” said Elementary Principle Jan Hutley.

District leaders hope the program will make students college or career ready by equipping them with import skills in leadership and personal responsibility.

“Leader in Me” is also unique in that IT allows students to teach other students. High school students spend time working with elementary students to teach the seven habits.

“We hope that the leadership development will eventually come from the kids. It will be student-centered, student-directed and they will actually come up with leadership roles that they feel are important in their school,” said Hutley.

You can find about “Leader in Me” by clicking here.

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