West Street Student Council Partnership with the Centennial Center for Leadership at Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Students learn the “7 Habits of Happy Kids” with Hobart and William Smith students, Caroline Dosky ’12, MAT ’13, Caroline Demeter ’15, and Daniel Budmen ’15.
“If there are two paths, I want to be on the one that leads to awesome.” - Kid President Dear West Street Families, It has been a pleasure to work with your children as part of the Centennial Center for Leadership’s newly established partnership with the West Street Student Council. Upon its opening in 2008, the Centennial Center for Leadership provides opportunities for Hobart and William Smith undergraduate students to explore the field of leadership. Their goal is to develop authentic, ethical, inclusive, and
value-based leaders in our community. The Centennial Center for Leadership has been thrilled to partner with Paula Foote and the West Street Student Council this spring. In the three-part leadership workshop, the students have been introduced to leadership themes and principles some of which include teamwork, effective communication, goal setting, being proactive instead of reactive, and the importance of listening. Students have worked to
define leadership, consider the differences between leadership and followership, and articulate what they believe as part of an “I Believe” statement. Overall, we have been extremely impressed with the second grader’s commitment and enthusiasm with these sessions. We are looking forward to our last session with them on May 3rd! Best, Caroline Dosky ’12, MAT ’13 Workshop Coordinator
In the Student’s Words:
“I believe in high 5’s.” “I believe in giving food to people in need.” “I believe in working through hard problems.”
“I think synergize means that you help your team out even if your team is losing.” “My definition for leadership is thinking about others and speaking for yourself and the world.”
“Seven Habits of Happy Kids” Adapted from Stephen Covey’s The Leader in Me book (2008) In the first session, we put creative hand gestures to the “Seven Habits of Happy Kids” so that
Habit 1 — Be Proactive
Habit 4 — Think Win-Win
I am a responsible person. I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking.
I balance courage for getting what I want. I make deposits in others’ Emotional Bank Accounts. When conflicts arise, I look for third alternatives.
Habit 2 — Begin with the End in Mind I plan ahead and set goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and vision. I look for ways to be a good citizen.
Habit 5 — Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings. I try to see things from their viewpoints. I listen to others without interrupting. I am confident in voicing my ideas. I look people in the eyes when talking.
Habit 3 — Put First Things First
Habit 6 — Synergize
I spend my time on things that are most important. This means I say no to things I know I should not do. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan. I am disciplined and organized.
I value other people’s strengths and learn from them. I get along well with others, even people who are different than me. I seek out other people’s ideas to solve problems because I know that we can create better solutions than anyone of us can alone.
the habits are easier Habit 7 — Sharpen The Saw
to remember! See if your student can teach them to you and your family!
I take care of my body by eating right, exercising and getting sleep. I spend time with family and friends. I learn in lots of ways and lots of places, not just at school.
BACKGROUND ON THE SEVEN HABITS: In elementary schools across the country, schools are adding a leadership component to their curriculum based on the principles described by the “Seven Habits of Happy Kids”. The Seven Habits describe actions that students of all ages can take to become leaders of their own lives. One of the most important components of the Seven Habits is that students take responsibility for their decisions and understand that they are in charge of making their own choices and behaviors.
The Leadership Sessions
1 2 3
The topic of the first session was “Leading Self”. To start, students were shown five different pictures of individuals (i.e. Michelle Obama, a firefighter, an elementary student) and had to decide whether these individuals were leaders or not from their point of view. There were no right or wrong answers! From this discussion, many of the students came to the conclusion that they can be leaders too! The students also learned the “Seven Habits of Happy Kids” and worked to relate them to their own lives, both inside and outside of school. We brainstormed creative hand gestures for each of the habits so that the names of the habits are easier to remember. Then, we practiced these leadership principles in a teamwork activity where students competed in groups to build the tallest marshmallow tower. In the second session, students participated in three stations. The overarching goal of this session was to provide an opportunity for the students to continue to craft their “I Believe” statements. In an “I Believe” statement, students write down what they believe about leadership. In the first station, students brainstormed their personal long-term goals after reading When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic. In the second station, students worked in teams on a square brain-teaser puzzle and discussed the power of teamwork during a debriefing conversation. In the final station, students watched two short advertisements to compare whether the people reacted in a proactive or reactive manner. Students also discussed values (i.e. honesty, trust, responsibility) as they relate to the Seven Habits.
In the third session on May 3rd, we have a full day planned for the second graders! Students will continue to work on their “I Believe” statements based on what they have previously created in the first two sessions. Students will choose three or four of their statements that they are really proud of to share during the Closing Ceremony. We will also work with the students on creating an action plan where they will identify a problem in their school, community, or world that they would like to help with. Students will identify the problem, how they are going to help, and where they are going to help. We will end the session with a Closing Ceremony, which we hope you can make!
Please Join Us!
Closing Ceremony Friday, May 3rd 1:00pm - 1:25pm Seneca Room (603 South Main Street)
Meet the Workshop Coordinator: CAROLINE DOSKY ’12, MAT ’13 Combining my passions for elementary education, child advocacy, psychology, and leadership, I am currently researching the benefits of leadership development designed specifically for the elementary school population. Most of what occurs in the classroom is to academically prepare students for their futures. However, there are other skills – leadership skills – that need to be modeled and taught, starting as early as elementary school. As our society continues to evolve, many teachers are charged with the task of teaching students leadership skills to prepare them to be authentic, ethical, inclusive, and value-based leaders. Incorporating my research and findings, I have designed these three sessions to challenge students to explore leadership in new and unique ways.
Hometown: Trumbull, CT Majors: Psychology and Dance Currently: Completing my Masters of Arts in Education Next Year’s Plans: Teaching Special Education in Boston through Teach For America Favorite Place in Geneva: Running in the Seneca Lake State Park in the fall and spring
You’re Invited: I am in the process of finishing my thesis, “Lead, Grow, and Inspire: Linking Leadership to the Elementary Education Curriculum”. On Tuesday, April 23rd from 2:00 to 2:30pm, I will be presenting my research to the public. The HWS and Geneva community are more than welcome to attend! The presentation will be at the Warren Hunting Smith Library at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in the Learning Lab (Room 150). I hope you can make it!
Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Paula Foote, the amazing leader of the West Street Student Council, for her enthusiasm and positivity with this partnership. These sessions would not have been possible if it were not for your guidance and support. Thank you also to the West Street School administration, led by Nina McCarthy, for allowing the second graders to travel to Hobart and William Smith Colleges for this program. Special thanks to the incredible staff at the Centennial Center for Leadership including Susan Pliner, Amy Forbes, and Morgan Hopkins. Thank you for providing engaging ideas during the planning process, helping with the sessions, and supporting this vision along the way! Thank you to Daniel Budmen ’15 and Caroline Demeter ’15 for helping and working with the students during the sessions! Thank you to the families for sharing your children with us! And a BIG thank you to the students who have been inspiring to work with. I am confident that they are already making a positive impact on their communities in meaningful and authentic ways. Continue to be the best leader you can be!