CENTRAL SQUARE – The Caughdenoy Fire Station was brimming with the leaders of today and into the future, as Central Square held its annual Fifth Grade Student Leadership Conference.
The event, coordinated by the Central Square School District Student Leadership Task Force, aims to teach students about leadership skills and show them how to implement these skills at school, at home, and in the community.
The task force was joined by Interim Superintendent Thomas Colabufo for a welcoming message, which was followed by an icebreaker exercise where each participant received a string adorned with small ribbons of yarn called “warm and fuzzies” and were encouraged to meet as many people around the room to exchange these “warm and fuzzies” along with words of encouragement.
Throughout the conference, students were challenged to identify the qualities that make a good leader and how these qualities are portrayed in real life and in the media. This led to the first of two breakout sessions, where groups were asked to make a poster, detailing what a leader looks like.
After lunch and a quick recharge activity, students started their second breakout session.
This session was a call to action emphasizing community service and the importance of civic responsibility, and students participated in a community service project.
The project was to pick out pencils for their teachers and write thank you notes to attach to each.
After the conference, students were tasked with personally delivering each pencil to educators.
The last workshop of the day was a round table discussion that offered fifth graders an opportunity to get their questions about middle school answered first hand from current sixth grade students at the end of their transition year.
This was the twelfth annual Fifth Grade Leadership Conference held in Central Square.
It is patterned after the HOBY Prep Conference, a nationwide fifth grade conference that Central Square developed and piloted in 2004 by P.V. Moore High School student Shauna White.
White, a HOBY International Ambassador, was personally asked by actor Hugh O’Brian to undertake this project as an addition to the seminar for youth leaders called HOBY that he began in 1958.
HOBY’s mission remains to seek out, recognize and develop leadership potential in today’s youth and challenges ambassadors to become leaders through involvement in their community.
Central Square School District continues rise to the challenge.