Penn Yan students learn leadership skills
PENN YAN—The Penn Yan elementary school opened its doors Friday morning to guests from the area community and other school districts for Leadership Day, May 18.
Around 75 people attended the event, which featured an assembly, visits to classrooms, and a panel discussion during lunch. Elementary Principal Marcie Ware said other districts came as far away as West Seneca near Buffalo to see how Penn Yan has implemented The Leader in Me, which is based off of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” first introduced by Dr. Stephen Covey.
The idea is that by teaching practical, principle-based leadership skills, the students are increasing their abilities to positive personal interactions, set goals and achieve them, problem solve and work together, and live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
The habits are: be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand then to be understood, synergize, sharpen the saw, and find your voice. The school has even named halls after the different habits.
Ware explained the elementary school started by teaching the staff the program last June and introducing it to the students in September. Ware said the teachers use the skills, and get the students to do so as well.
“Today is a chance for the students to use the leadership skills,” she explained. Students helped put on Leadership Day, either in preparation or participation.
One of the classrooms that guests visited was Karen Fingar’s kindergarten room. There, the students explained how they learned about the different skills in children’s books they read in class. For example, the students learned to think with an end goal in mind from reading Eric Carle’s “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” In “Swimmy,” the characters used synergize. Be proactive was taught in “The Little Engine that Could” and “The Very Lonely Firefly.”
The event ended with a panel discussion. It featured school staff, students, and members of the community.