New School Program Helps Build Leaders

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The John Deere Foundation has granted $240,000 dollars to eight Quad City schools in order to help students become better leaders. That grant helped bring the National Leader in Me program to schools in the Rock Island/Milan district.

Camron Czerwinski-Early wants to be a professional football player when he grows up. Although Camron is in 6th grade, he and his classmates are already preparing for their future.

It’s all a part of the Leader in Me program. The entire school participates and it’s based off of seven habits that include leadership, responsibility, problem solving and communicating.

"We started with the first habit which is proactive and talking about how they're responsible for their learning and their actions,” says Denkmann Elementary school teacher, Kim Miers.

The program has also helped Camron think of a back up career," I think I’m going into sports medicine or being a trainer,” says Camron.

Even though these 6th grade students have a few years until they enter the real world, students say it’s important to start thinking about it now. The program just started this year and  teachers have already noticed changes in students.

"They have more manners. They're willing to do things, they want to help,” says Miers.

Camron says he considers everyone in his class a leader now, “Anyone can be a leader you just need to believe in yourself."

The grant will cover the cost of the program, including teacher training and materials for the next three years.

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