SPRINGFIELD TWP.  Earlier this summer, Young Elementary School was chosen by Franklin Covey, a company that helps organizations achieve results in lasting changes in human behavior, to be one of the Leader in Me Schools to showcase during its leadership Summit.

Educators from all over Ohio arrived by charter bus to spend time with students and staff at Young during its Leadership Day. Students and staff were ready to make the special guests feel welcome. The guests attended the Leadership Day that included a student lead Town Hall meeting. The kids and staff "rocked out" at the end of Town Hall with their favorite Leader In Me song Dynamite. The guests commented on the enthusiasm of not only the students throughout their visit but also all staff members.

Sarah Thornton from Gallia County Schools said she loves how all of the kids are engaged and they are all super friendly and excited.

"I really like the Town Hall it is a wonderful way to continue to teach rules and new concepts," she said. "They are all on the same page."

Thornton said that the staff is so engaged with the program that she can’t even tell who the principal is.

"The staff are leaders, the teachers are leaders the kids are leaders," she said. 

Even the youngest of the elementary students spoke to the guests explaining what they were doing in their classrooms. "It is amazing," said one guest, referring to how well the students spoke in front of not only their fellow students but also in front of the staff and the educators from around Ohio.

Sandra Plants from Gallia County Local Schools said they were there to tour the school to see how they can incorporate what is being done at Young Elementary into their Leader In Me. Program.

"We started it with our staff and we are trying to see it in action and how they incorporate it into their day," she said.

Plants said it is amazing how the kids are engaged and how the staff is using the habits and the kids' abilities and how all the children find an area where they fit in.

"Everyone has gifts and talents they can use and share," Plants said. "Kids come from such diverse backgrounds and families it levels the playing field for all kids. It gives them all the same type of skills and abilities. Every child is important and shows all the possibilities and potential they have."

After the Town Hall Meeting, the educators visited classrooms where they learned much more about the Leader In Me program and how the students participate. There were 14 breakoff LEAD groups that all teach one or more of the 7 Healthy Habits the students work on through Leader in me. Those groups included:

- Teambuilding Tribe: activities to learn to synergize (work together).

- Kindness Crew: organize events to promote kindness.

- Fitness Fun: lead fun fitness events.

- Yoga Group: learning yoga.

- Steps for Success: walking club.

- Love of sign Language: learning American Sign Language.

- Field Day Friends: Field Day organizing.

- Spirit Crew: promoting school spirit.

- Public Relations Team: advertising fun and events.

- Inventor’s Club: present STEM activities for students.

- Memory Makers: working with family photos.

- Boomwhacker’s: create and learn music.

- Movie Make Film Crew: capture pictures and videos of students to create movies.

- Young Spartans Dance Crew: learning dances and teaching others.

Teacher Dorothy Clark from Waverly School in Cleveland said she loved the day.

"I can’t wait for us to get on board. I wanted to see how this would work with special education students, so we all can be leaders," she said.

Deborah Williams from Warner Girls Leadership Academy in Cleveland said, "I’m impressed. One thing I am impressed with is the teachers are involved. If they see the teachers are involved, the kids are involved. I like the different classes."