By Joel van der Veen
LOREBURN — In four years, the Seven Habits have firmly taken hold at Loreburn Central School — and now, according to one mother, they’re showing up at home.
Darla Wonnick told the story Wednesday of a recent conversation she had with her daughter Annika while trying to solve a problem.
“Well, Mom, are you thinking win-win?” Annika asked her mother.
“Well, Annika, not now,” she replied.
Wonnick, a mother of two and a member of the Loreburn School Community Council, went on to describe the positive impact the Seven Habits have had on the school.
“We walk down the hallways of our school, and we see a huge difference,” she said. “There is excellence happening everywhere, and we are able to recognize it and talk about it.”
She spoke on Wednesday to Loreburn staff and students, as well as roughly 70 guests, gathered in the gymnasium for Leadership Day.
The event, now in its third year, serves as a demonstration of how the “Leader in Me” program has shaped the way Loreburn students work, play and interact together.
The program, developed by FranklinCovey Education, has been implemented at 2,000 schools across the globe. Loreburn began incorporating the program, including the Seven Habits, into its curriculum four years ago.
According to the publisher, The Leader in Me is “a whole-school transformation model, developed in partnership with educators, that empowers students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.”
The program aims to transform schools in three primary areas: teaching leadership directly to students and integrating it into their lessons; empowering staff and students to have a voice in their schools; and making students active agents in their learning.
Each year, Loreburn invites guests — including community members, teachers, parents and students from other schools — to witness the effects of the program.
“We are always working on improving ourselves to become the people want to be,” said principal Jill Long, adding that the Seven Habits have “provided us with a community language that has become part of our school culture.”
While students can easily repeat the habits from memory, Long said she has also seen tangible changes in their behaviour and attitudes.
“Kids are holding themselves accountable more,” she said. “They feel that they have a voice in what happens at the school.”
The students were front and centre on Wednesday, from greeting guests with handshakes at the door to answering their questions as they ate lunch.
Long said the students did the majority of the planning for the event, which was designed with an Olympics theme, including medallion-shaped nametags.
For the full story, please see the April 25 edition of The Davidson Leader.