Children learn how to lead
Graham County school kids are learning more than reading', writin' and 'arithmetic; they're learning to be solid citizens, responsible adults, solid citizens.
And the lessons are clearly sinking in.
That was evident during Robbinsville Elementary School's (RES) First Annual Leadership Showcase in the lower gymnasium last week.
More than 600 students – pre-kindergarten through sixth grade – gave parents, grandparents and members of the community a glimpse of the lessons they're learning in what old-timers used to call citizenship.
"What you see on the floor is Graham County's best natural resource," said RES Principal Jamie Hooper after each grade performed songs based on the seven habits they're learning.
The event celebrated the school's first year of teaching The Leader In Me Program, a curriculum based on Stephen R. Covey's best-selling book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
"Be proactive, be proactive, you can change," kindergarteners sang for Habit No. 1, which stresses taking responsibility for choices and the consequences that follow and encourages kids to choose their attitudes, moods and actions.
First graders extolled Habit No. 2, Begin With the End in Mind. They sang, "Focus, focus don't hold back," to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Habit No. 2 tells students to, "Have a plan. Plan ahead and set goals. Looks for ways to be a good citizen."
Habit No. 3, Put First Things First, was presented by second graders. They sang about the importance of working first, before play, setting priorities, making a schedule, and following the plan.
Third-graders celebrated Habit No. 4, Think Win-Win, which teaches kids that everyone can win and reminds them to balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want.
Habit No. 5, Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood was presented by fourth graders. Their message: Listen before you talk. Listen to other people's ideas and feelings, try to see things from their viewpoints and listen to others without interrupting.
Fifth-graders sang about Habit No. 6, Synergize. The lesson: Together is better. Value other people's strengths and learn from them.
Habit No. 7, Sharpen the Saw, was presented by sixth graders. That habit involves taking care of your body by eating right, exercising and getting sleep, and spending time with family and friends because balance feels best.
Pre-K students sang a medley of the seven habits.
Students Caleb Turpin and Aubree Nichols were emcees. Community leaders and parents toured the school after the event.
"This is the beginning of something great," remarked Graham County Superintendent of Schools Angie Knight. "This is all about bringing up their strengths."