Leader in Me
Leadership opportunities exist at all levels in our school. Even our youngest leaders, our kindergarteners, are given opportunities to find their inner leader as they present, perform, and share victories at our daily morning meetings. It is clear that they have learned some of their most valuable leadership skills by watching our older students lead. Since becoming a Lighthouse School, one of our biggest success stories has been the implementation of our schoolwide buddy system. Pairing up our younger students with an older buddy has been such a powerful and rewarding experience. Watching our older students model positive leadership for our younger students has really helped reluctant leaders find their voice!
Once students find their voices, they are encouraged to use them to drive their passions. Just this year alone, we had numerous student initiated projects including canned food drives, school kindness challenges, anti-bullying initiatives, and raising almost $800 for Easter Seals. All of these efforts were student driven from start to finish. Students developed ideas, communicated with the school community, aligned resources, and planned the events.
Of course, none of these events were flawless, but through adopting a growth mindset, each bump in the road served as an opportunity to learn and improve.
Most notable this year has been the desire of our students to create a zero-waste lunch hour. In an attempt to decrease our trash and increase our positive impact on the environment, our third graders entered into a partnership with Better Earth Logistics, a local company who creates compost through their recycling services. Their goal is to close the loop of sustainability through end-to-end composting services. After laying out a blueprint of what composting would look at Hollis, our third graders presented the plan and all grades began composting their lunches! This initiative served as the springboard for many other student led efforts to help eliminate trash during lunch. The saying leadership is contagious was proven true time and time again as green teams began to pop up in many grade levels throughout our building. Specifically, a team of sixth and seventh graders began investigating the use of paper straws vs. plastic straws, the feasibility of purchasing a new dishwasher to eliminate the need for styrofoam trays, and recycling options for milk cartons. It has been so heartwarming and inspiring to watch them lead and work to impact change.
Reflecting on how our school has grown since becoming a Lighthouse School makes all of us eager to see what the future will bring to the students at Hollis Grade School. We feel more confident than ever that we are fulfilling our mission of creating Leaders for Life!
Based on the proven leadership principles found in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen Covey, The Leader in Me program is an evidence-based, comprehensive-school improvement model—developed in partnership with educators—that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.
Hollis Grade School is proud to be a Lighthouse Leader In Me School!
There are over 3,000 Leader in Me schools across the globe and less than 225 of them are Lighthouse schools. Hollis was the 5th school in Illinois to achieve the recognition. The Lighthouse status designation means that the school has successfully passed a Lighthouse review by Franklin Covey and has demonstrated effective results in the implementation of The Leader in Me model. “The Lighthouse designation is proof of the extraordinary impact the school is having on staff, students, parents, and the greater community,” said Sean Covey, Education Practice Leader at Franklin Covey.
Hollis Grade School was recognized as a Lighthouse School in May of 2017. Since that time, our school has continued to grow our leadership framework, and it has been so fun and inspirational to watch its effects on our school community. We often say that the Leader in Me framework was the missing piece in our school. Hollis is a small, rural, K-8 school building with a student population of just 150. Being such a small school, we often gave our students opportunities for leadership; however we never had the framework or the language to sustain these systems. Since becoming a Lighthouse School, we now have the sustainability we were searching for.
You are a huge component to your child’s leadership development. You will find many links on this page to help use the 7 habits language at home with your children, books that help teach the 7 habits, and other resources regarding student leadership.
If you are looking for reading material regarding the 7 habits, please check out these books below.