Brogden students to learn leadership skills

Nov. 04, 2013 @ 04:31 PM

Students at Brogden Middle School will learn to lead under a new program based on Stephen Covey’s bestseller, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
The school held a kickoff celebration and pep rally Monday for the program titled “The Leader in Me” in the school’s gymnasium.
Covey’s self-help book will be used as a transformative tool to teach students leadership skills while strengthening their self-confidence, creativity, problem-solving skills and academic performance.
Covey’s seven habits include: Be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand then to be understood, synergize and sharpen the saw. 
Brogden Principal LaTonya Smith said the pep rally was held to get students to buy in to the program.
“They’re the ones we’re trying to develop the leadership skills in,” Smith said. “So, if you can get them to buy in to a pep rally as we kickoff the instructional focus in ‘The Leader in Me,’ then they’re going to take it and run with it.
Smith said the students at Brogden already have leadership skills. She said the program will help to refine it.
The effectiveness of the program will be monitored monthly through various school projects and writing assignments.
Smith said the program will be the focus of the 40 minute “discovery period” students have each day.
“For seven weeks straight they will learn specifically the habits of the “Leader in Me’ and it will be refreshed during every single class, including lesson plans,” Smith said. “Teachers will have to include what habit they’re going to talk about in their lesson plans.” 
Student appeared to already be exercising leadership skills Monday. 
Several were chosen to explain each habit, and led various segments of the program that was attended by Mayor Bill Bell, Superintendent Eric Becoats and school board members Minnie Forte-Brown and Natalie Beyers and dozens of parents.
Terry Bell, the parent of a Brogden eighth-grader, said she believes the program will have the desired effect of helping to train Brogden middle-schoolers to become leaders.
“I’m really excited that my son is a part of this change at Brogden,” Terry Bell said. “We can never have too many male leaders in the community.
She said her son, Carl, already exhibits leadership skill, but hopes the program will help to “enhance those skills.”