NEF announces funding drive to expand life skills program
The Novi Educational Foundation (NEF) has a “vision.”
It’s simple – but very powerful!
What if…the entire Novi school district was filled with students who were responsible, who showed initiative, who were creative, who knew how to set goals and meet them, who got along with people of various backgrounds and cultures and who could resolve conflicts and solve problems?
“It’s about PERSONAL LEADERSHIP,” says Geoff Wood, NEF chairperson. “The NEF wants all Novi children to become leaders of their own life, have unique talents and make a positive difference in the world. That’s why we support – and want to expand – all the good things about Leader In Me.”
Leader In Me is an innovative, personal-growth process that is woven into Novi’s elementary curriculum. Leader In Me is based on the famous Stephen Covey book “Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People,” which helps adults become more successful in work, personal, and family relationships.
Now, these timeless principles are taught to Novi’s elementary school students (Grades K-6). The Novi Community School District is making the habits part of its students’ educational culture to help develop the essential life skills and characteristics that students need in order to thrive academically, professionally and personally in the 21st century.
“In today’s competitive global society, our Novi children need more than just strong academic skills,” Wood explains. “They also need critical life skills to ensure that they can work effectively in a fast-paced, highly-interconnected and diverse world.
“The Leader In Me educational model teaches these skills, and that’s why the NEF is launching a huge fundraising campaign in 2013,” Wood adds. “We want Leader In Me
to expand beyond elementary school. We want to see it in Novi Middle School and in Novi High School. We want Leader In Me to grow and evolve into a district-wide program so all our Novi students will benefit from it.”
The Leader In Me fundraising campaign is just one of many examples of how the NEF works with local businesses and corporations to support educational and enrichment activities for Novi students. This year, the NEF is placing special emphasis in Leader In Me initiative because it provides an optimized classroom environment for student improvement and workforce readiness.
"Leader in Me really helps those students learn how to be reflective on their own lives, how to take control of their lives and absorb into the citizens that we want them to be," said Novi Superintendent Dr. Steve Matthews. “The process builds great self-confidence in each child’s unique abilities and talents.
Dr. Matthews stresses that once this process becomes a stronger part of the Novi educational culture, he expects Novi children will have stronger academic performances and fewer discipline problems.
“We believe Leader In Me will increase student, teacher and parent satisfaction because our kids will improve their self-confidence with better social and life skills,” Matthews says.
Leader in Me is a transformation model that acts like the operating system of a computer — it improves performance of all other programs. Leader in Me produces transformational results such as higher academic achievement, fewer discipline problems, and increased engagement among teachers and parents. Better yet, The Leader in Me equips students with the self-confidence and skills they need to thrive in the 21st century economy.
In 2008, Dr. Stephen R. Covey, published the book—The Leader in Me—which documents the leadership model schools pioneered and its outcomes for staff, students, parents and community.
When parents and business leaders are asked what they want in their schools, they share:
Accountability Problem Solving
Initiative and Self-direction Creativity
Cross-cultural Skills Teamwork
This feedback represents what most people believe: Novi Schools should not merely be focused on improving test scores, but should provide opportunities for students to develop their full potential. The 7 Habits is not best taught as a separate curriculum, but rather in a ubiquitous fashion, integrating them into the curriculum, traditions, systems, and culture of the district.
The Leader in Me process now is being implemented in more than 1,000 schools worldwide. Schools are consistently reporting fantastic results:
- Increases in students’ self-confidence, teamwork, creativity, leadership
and initiative and problem-solving skills
- Dramatic decreases in disciplinary issues
- Increases in teacher pride and engagement
- Greater parent satisfaction and involvement
- Improved school culture
The Novi Community School District already has embarked on this journey to help all of our students become better leaders. The district has accomplished the following:
- Trained “staff-trainers” in each building for long-term cost-savings and sustainability
- Coordinated 7 Habits Signature Training for all K-6 Staff
- Integrated common language of 7 Habits into K-6 classrooms and buildings.
- Implemented leadership/data notebooks for all K-6 students
- Built an authentic relationship with Franklin-Covey
- Hosted 7 Habits Parent Night for community
- Empowered 7 Habits parent group
- Offered 7 Habits for Effective Family training
- Developed 7 Habits-Leader in Me Website:
Now, the NEF invites all Novi corporations, businesses, alumni and parents to join in and financially support this worthwhile cause. Throughout 2013, the NEF will sponsor many events and activities geared toward additional funding for Leader in Me.
For more information about NEF and its many activities, please contact Ellen Hulverson, NEF’s Administrative Coordinator, at 248-449-1211 or email her at NEF@NOVI.K12.MI.US. Additional NEF activities can be found on the organization’s website, www.novieducationalfoundation.org.