GALION — Students and staff at Galion Intermediate School are taking leadership development a step further with building-wide leadership clubs. These groups meet the first and third Friday of each month at the end of the school day.
Leadership clubs provide an opportunity for students and staff to share experiences centered around specific common interests that will provide an outlet for students to develop character, leadership skills, self-confidence and contributions as leaders.
“We have a variety of options for students to choose from, which stems from our staff having a wide range of interests,” said third-grade teacher Josh Riggle. “In total, we have 28 clubs from which students can choose based on their interests.”
Leadership clubs are an integral part of the Leader in Me process. They provide an outlet for students to find their “niche,” and every Leader in Me school is encouraged to put their unique twist on the clubs.
“With this being our first year of implementation, we borrowed some ideas from other districts,” Riggle said. “Ultimately, we wanted to allow our students and staff the opportunity to share their own creativity.”
Staff members were encouraged to generate ideas for the clubs based on their interests. Once the list of clubs was developed, students — with the assistance of their families — were encouraged to choose clubs based on their own interests.
“It is awesome to see the clubs as they were assembled,” said Riggle. “As educators, we learned so much more about our students based on their choices.”
Leadership clubs are the next step in the Intermediate School’s implementation of the Leader in Me process, and one the staff had been eagerly anticipating since beginning the Leader in Me program. The leadership clubs also allow students to showcase their talents and abilities in ways they may not be able to otherwise.
“These clubs provide an opportunity for students and staff to build relationships beyond academics and to use their common interests to learn from one another,” said Alex Sharick, Galion Intermediate School Principal. “They help provide an environment that is conducive to creating a sense of belonging and purpose and allows students to focus on strengths that are otherwise difficult to incorporate into daily instruction.”