(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)—Students from the St. Joseph School District talked about what made them "good," so they could strive to make themselves and their schools great.
EmpowerU was the location for the first "Gearing up for Greatness" event for future, current, and previous Spring Garden Elementary students. Teachers brought in students-leaders from Hyde and Spring Garden elementary along with Benton High School students to bond while building a sense of community and to share kind advice with peers.
Terri Johnson, the Executive Director of Missouri's Student Government Association for 18 years, was a keynote speaker and said this event is about how a simple gesture like asking a peer to get involved or leading by example can cause a positive ripple effect for everyone.
"If we want students to be good or to be great we need them to role model for other students and show what it looks like to be a good student," Johnson said.
Students broke up into groups to receive interactive lessons on leadership, attendance, and kindness. Key qualities that Spring Garden Elementry Principal Dr. Lara Gilpin says creating a positive learning environment where everyone feels happy and confident in is important.
"Our students can drive what happens in our building and the climate and culture of our building," Dr. Gilpin said. "We are Spring Garden, but if these qualities stay and reach out to our community, think about how great that would be."
Over 50 students attended the event and fifth-grader Carter Convoy from Hyde Elementry was one of the students excited to take part.
"It's like follow the leader, you do whatever the leader does," Convoy said. "As a leader we have to set a good example and I'm going to do that by being respectful in class and to my classmates and just in general."