Released March 25, 1999
Centre students offer leadership program for middle-schoolers
DANVILLE, KY -- As part of their own training to become better leaders, a group of Centre College students is currently leading a six-week leadership training program for 30 students from Bate Middle School and Boyle County Middle School.
The middle school students visit the Centre campus each Wednesday, where they complete a series of assignments and team exercises guided by the Centre students. At one recent session, teams of students had to figure out how to help each other navigate down a narrow board that served as a "bridge" across a pond full of imaginary alligators. The Centre students asked the middle-schoolers to complete the task wêalking and, afterwards, they guided a discussion about the value of teamwork and cooperation.
The two-hour session also included components devoted to problem-solving and communication skills.
The Bate and Boyle County students are accompanied each week by school counselors Cecile Napier of Bate and Phyllis Pelley of Boyle Middle. Napier says she wanted the Bate students to participate to get exposure to leadership training. "Some people are natural born leaders but they may not know it until they have an experience like this," Napier says. "At their first session, the Centre students asked them to describe the qualities of leadership. Then, when a Centre student told them they had been picked because they have leadership qualities, some of our students had surprised looks on their faces."
Napier went on to say that Bate tries to encourage leadership through school clubs and activities, and the Centre program gives the school an extra boost. "We hope these Bate students will take what they've learned and share it with others at our school."
The Centre students are part of the Brown Scholars Leadership Project,
a campus program that encourages leadership and service. Clarence Wyatt,
a Centre professor who directs the Brown Scholars program, says the students
developed their own teaching materials and curriculum after doing research
on leadership training programs.
The leadership project was established at Centre in 1996 with a grant from the James Graham Brown Foundation of Louisville.
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