An annual leadership conference for fifth graders saw a third successful completion of all fifth graders in Manchester having their own designated day for a conference at Manchester High School.
“This helps them to build positive relationships with people with not only their peers, but also adults. It helps them to advocate for themselves and will them to know and better understand who they are in school and in their communities,” said Rhonda Philbert, equity coordinator for Manchester Public Schools.
Each all-day event begins with an open discussion about leadership and reasons for being leaders. The students then continued to illustrate posters expressing what a leader looked like, and showing the qualities they possess. Students then focused on team building.
“What we wanted them to gain from [the activities] was to be able to cooperate and work with one another, to work as team, and be able to depend on one another,” Philbert said.
Some of the activities were led by performing artists who dramatized the scenario of bullying, and taunting. Students had to show how a leader would handle those situations.
“There was a scene where a child was excluded from the group and it took courage for someone to speak up – and if you look around the room, you see posters with the drawings and ‘courage’ listed on some of them,” Philbert said.