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FDCS Foundation believes every student is a leader

Funds Leader in Me for first two years

With help from the Fort Dodge Community Schools Foundation, the Fort Dodge Community School District will bring Leader in Me to its schools beginning this fall.

“We could not refuse the opportunity to help ‘unleash the potential in children,'” said Jennifer Pederson, FDCS Foundation president. “I am proud of our board for approving financial support of the Leader in Me program. I can’t wait to see how it impacts students and teachers and provides them with opportunities to express their leadership.”

Leader in Me empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st Century. The model provides a character building framework based on Franklin Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” School staff will reflect on how they, themselves, use the seven habits and then model them for students by integrating the social-emotional learning around them into other lessons. Leader in Me aligns to the Iowa Department of Education’s social-emotional learning competencies released last December.

“As we continue to prepare our students to be college and career ready, one important component we want to invest in is developing them as human beings,” said Dr. Jesse Ulrich, superintendent of the FD district. “I believe all of our students have the ability to be a leader in their own life and can work with and encourage greatness in others as well. The Leader in Me will provide us a platform to assist our students and staff in learning social and emotional skills that shift the paradigm on what real leadership looks like.”

The Foundation has committed to financially support the Leader in Me program for the first two years at a cost of $55,000 per year for a total investment of $110,000. The FDCS Foundation and Ulrich are working on a capital campaign, which should roll out in February to help fund the initiative.

“When the Leader in Me program was presented to us, the board was immediately excited because, social-emotional learning is a large part of academics,” Pederson said. “We are proud to sponsor this program, which will affect the daily lives of our kiddos and provide them with the tools needed to prosper in, not only our schools, but life after school as well.”

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