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Lake Wales
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Our Visit to Leader in Me at Polk Avenue Elementary


Last week Carl and Kip, Founders of DailyRidge.com, visited Polk Avenue Elementary School to Explore the Leader in Me program. While we were just visitors for the morning it was exciting to see all the students and the great things they are working on at the school.

The Leader in Me initiative emphasizes a culture of student empowerment that helps unleash each child’s potential. The program leverages the 7 habits of Highly Effective People that nurture the skills needed to make students successful.

We started our Exploration in the auditorium. Students gave a small presentation on what the Leader in Me program was, the choir sang us a song, and once the presentation was complete all the adults were divided up into smaller groups to begin our adventure.

While Carl and I tried our hardest to be in the same Habbit group the students leveraged their leadership skills and wisely split us up into separate groups. I was placed in Habbit 4 and Carl was placed in Habbit 5. As we split off into our groups it was fairly obvious we were in for a great Exploration.

Our Habbit Leader was responsible for getting us to our destination while their assistance was responsible for trying to keep all of us adults in order. We wandered the grounds of the school visiting classrooms, peeking in windows and greeting all the excited children anxious to share their projects.

My first stop was to a classroom on an animal safari. The students were searching the classroom for hidden animals. Part of our job was to help a student find the animals so they could record them in their log.

Second stop was to a classroom where students were coloring specific animals or trying to spell the name of animals using magnetic letters. I was easily distracted by the coloring and joined a small table. To my surprise they simply ushered me over for a selfie which I happily took.  

Third Stop was like going to a racetrack. It was loud and full of energy. The teacher was even dressed for the occasion in a full race pitstop suit cheering on her students to be their best. In this classroom students raced across the room and back to retrieve papers to solve a problem.

Fourth stop to a classroom doing an experiment. They were studying rocks and erosion. Part of the experiment was mixing various candies to get them to combine as one. The final treat was when students took the candy and simulated erosion via consumption.

Fifth stop was in a classroom that told us a story. Each student read their part in the story and provided a little animation. This kept students engaged and interested in what was taking place.   

Sixth stop was a class that was studying verbs, nouns, or something like that. I was not great at English. What I can tell you is each student wrote a poem and then read them outload to the group. I was very impressed as they each did very well.

Seventh stop was to the art gallery in what appeared to be the lunch room. We were able to observe art from all grade levels. It was very neat to see these unique creations.

Eight stop was to a classroom studying various sea creatures. I was asked by a student to look at hints and guess what creature they were studying. It was really neat to see how excited the students were to share their work as we sat and tried to guess the creature. My student, who wanted a selfie, was studying sharks.

My ninth stop was to PE. In PE the students were participating in a program called DumFit. The students danced to music while following a video that showed them how to drum on a ball.

Finally our Student Leaders took us back to the auditorium to conclude the mornings events and sent us on our way.  

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Staff Reporter

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