Over 100 parents, business and community leaders, and others from around south-central Iowa filtered into the Clarke Community Schools Elementary gymnasium Friday morning. Waiting for them was an excited group of students prepared to give a presentation for their fourth annual Leader in Me Day.
As the adults meandered in and took their seats around the court, the entire gymnasium said the pledge of allegiance and the elementary school band blasted off with a rousing rendition of the school song. From there, those in attendance were guided through an incredible journey by the students (and only the students) showing off the pride, confidence, and leadership skills these young Clarke students have absorbed through the program.
Check out the photos from the Clarke Elementary Leadership Day below:
The Leader In Me program, started in 2011 by the school and local businesses, was initiated to help foster learning and leadership skills for students from kindergarten through middle school. While, in more “advanced” grades, students are exposed to important social and business leadership skill sets, the Leader in Me program offers younger students opportunities to practice the important skills of public speaking, guiding a presentation, leading class discussions, and more. The elementary Leader in Me programs focus on opening the doors to young students and giving them experiences in these important skills at an earlier age with the hopes of utilizing them in later grade levels and long into the future..
Becca Kedley, Clarke Elementary Instructional Coach beamed, “Every student in the school had their hand in the day’s presentations in some way; whether it was coloring invitations, bookmarks, thank you notes, opening ceremony, sessions or leadership roles every student had a part in making the day a success!”
From the initial opening events; dancing, personal presentations, musical performances and more, to a guided, multi-topical tour of the elementary classes, students showed impressive skills at guiding their adult guests through instructional presentations, educational role-playing, art presentations, computer skills, video editing and presentations, and overall educational disciplines. At each stop the parents and business owners were offered a custom presentation about the classroom, the subject matter they cover, and the goals and principles used to achieve success. The kids also connected those skills with activities they participate in outside the classrooms. Whether grocery shopping with their family or talking to teachers and other adults in the community, these students showed they have the skills necessary to be confident and proud members of the community.
“Leadership Day is all about showcasing the students,” Kedley said. “Seeing the students interact with guests and show how proud they are of their accomplishments is truly exciting.”