Several schools in the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District (FUESD) held Leadership Day events this spring to show parents and community members how the students are developing their abilities and talents.
FUESD has implemented the “The Leader in Me” approach in all of its schools based on “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®” by Stephen Covey. The use of the 7 habits help students learn how to treat each other with respect and stand up for one another in an attempt to eliminate bullying, among other things.
At the Leadership Day programs, the students demonstrated many of the skills that this learning model encourages them to develop, inspiring them to be leaders in their own lives.
Those leadership skills were put on display with the students running the event at each school. Each Leadership Day started with students greeting visitors as they entered the campus. In the auditoriums, students were ready to show off their skills and accomplishments with speeches and musical performances.
At Maie Ellis Elementary, the district’s dual language school, all speeches were given confidently in both English and Spanish. Not only did the students use public speaking skills to engage the audience, they also demonstrated their ability to be in charge by sticking to the agenda and following the program.
Students also participated by giving tours around the school and classrooms, which at La Paloma included a visit to a special needs class. In some of the classrooms, students showed visitors their “leadership binders” which consisted of their goals, mission statements, and progress in the classroom. Some highlighted what they were most proud of and what they hope to accomplish in the future.
Maie Ellis, La Paloma and Fallbrook Street schools, like many of the schools, have clubs to further student learning. At Fallbrook Street, student leaders from each of the clubs talked to visitors while showing them displays about their activities, which included clubs for art, running, coding, Lego building, and Chinese culture, as well as the Student Lighthouse group for leaders and one for Safe School Ambassadors.
At Fallbrook Street, the clubs are held on Tuesdays for six weeks twice a year for all ages of students. School counselor Zorayda Delgado said, “Attendance was amazing” on club days. She added that the clubs promote “team building across age levels, problem solving, and communication.”
Each school’s Leadership Day was given a different theme. Maie Ellis called for Superheroes to come meet its super student leaders, using student made super hero figures for decoration. Fallbrook Street student leaders were scientists, with a “science rocks” motto, while La Paloma took a literary turn with a “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” theme which also included student drawn covers of Roald Dahl’s other books.
With school-wide participation from class skits and songs to classroom visits and all the preparation that went into putting on each Leadership Day, the students showed how well they understand, and put into practice, the 7 habits that are helping them to do incredible things and make greatness happen.
Gloria Magallanes contributed to this article.