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“Leader In Me” program promotes leadership, hoping to reduce bullying and school violence – 9&10 News | #schoolsaftey

Students in a Northern Michigan school district are learning leadership skills with a new program aimed at bolstering confidence and reducing incidents of school violence and bullying.

Lake City Area Schools is expanding a social emotional learning program known as “Leader in Me” throughout the entire district.

The “Leader in Me” program instills leadership skills and promotes a community where every student is welcome.

The district said students that feel connected to their environments are more likely to take ownership of their actions within that community.

Cara Strom is a social worker at Lake City Area Schools. She says they’ve been eating the program up.

“They want to be leaders. They often just don’t get the opportunities to be leaders and the things that they’re strong. And this gives every kid an opportunity to be a leader in what’s important to them,” said Strom.

She also said the program teaches kids to be engaged. She said it’s their school and they should have a say in how it runs. The program teaches kids to take charge and that confidence is already showing.

“There are some kids. I know that if I would have asked them last year at the beginning of the year, will you please go help someone? So, with this, they will have been like, no, not happening now. I just had a student. I said, ‘hey, we will help out in the office for a second for sure.’ Off she went and just helped, ” said Strom.

Strom said peer support fosters a real sense of community, one that can reduce bullying and the chance of a school shooter. Senior Harmony Jewett agrees.

“I feel like more kids stand up for themselves now and for other people, which honestly, that helps a lot. And there hasn’t. I’ve never been one to see a lot of bullying in the school because I feel like everybody knows each other here. Everybody loves each other. The teachers are great to us, and they always crack down on it,” said Jewett.

Jewett said she drives half an hour away to attend here. She loves the leadership program and the community. Strom said it’s been great watching the kids interact.

“It’s just kind of fun to watch them be all together, do things, push other students who need that push, and then they’re able to support them. I’ll do it if Harmony does it or I’ll do it if someone does it right,” said Strom.

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