April 2019 (Volume 2, Number 4)


Asher Vakidis in a Field with a Cow

Fourth grader Asher Vakidis Uses the 7 Habits to Create Fourth Grade Service Project Benefitting World Vision

Beginning with the end in mind, fourth grader, Asher Vakidis, spoke with elementary principal, Mrs. Creamer, about his pro-active plan to raise $2270 for World Vision. World Vision is a non-profit organization that promotes better living conditions around the world by providing communities with clean water, food, education, wheelchairs, sports equipment, and opportunities that provide income to communities. With $2270, World Vision would be able to purchase 28 farm animals to feed and create income for 10 families in a village in another part of the world

Mrs. Creamer shares Asher's passion for servant leadership and immediately understood his vision for reaching his goal. After receiving permission to move forward with his plan, Asher worked with the fourth-grade teachers to assemble a group of students to serve as the committee for this service project. This committee presented during an all-student assembly in March, where Asher challenged his peers to think big by "looking outside our walls and into the world."

Asher synergized with his team putting first things first during the three weeks of the drive to reach their goal. They spent time during recess making posters to hold-up after school during car-line to remind families about the service project. Asher also approached local business owners at BrickLAB, who agreed to donate supplies to allow several students to make farm animals out of their LEGOs after school to serve as a prop and a prize for one lucky student.

With Asher leading the way, LPS students exceeded their goal and raised $3086 for World Vision. As promised, the students sharpened the saw and celebrated with a very sweet, yet messy assembly. All students who donated to the project were given the opportunity to "pie" a fourth grader. Principal Creamer also followed through with her promise to kiss a pig during the assembly. In keeping with April Fool's fun, she smooched a guinea pig after the real pig failed to show up.

"You don't have to be a grown-up to make a difference," said Principal Creamer during the student assembly. "Look for opportunities to help in your community, your place of worship, or even your home," she offered as words of wisdom and encouragement to LPS' young leaders.

Asher acknowledged that organizing a school-wide event was a learning experience for him by saying, "Life is like a game of chess - you have to think about every step before you make it!" He feels good knowing that the result of his vision has the potential to generationally change the lives of at least 10 families who would otherwise continue living in poverty.

Asher appreciates that LPS is a computer-immersion school and loves coding at school, especially when it involved Minecraft. He hopes to eventually attend Texas A&M and be a gamer one day.

Habits Helpers at Home - Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

What does it take to be a successful family, school or individual? At LPS, we believe that following the 7 Habits guides us to be better than we would be otherwise; both for ourselves and our communities. Many of the habits have to do with awareness and Habit 2 (Begin with the End in Mind) falls right in line with this philosophy. This is the habit of planning, or visualization.

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, stated that “One of the most powerful things you can pass on to your children is the sense of building a life based on a mission.” To assist this at school, our students begin their day with this mission statement: We are leaders who follow the seven habits. We set and achieve goals by learning and leading with excellence. We lead the way by treating others with honor and respect at all times.

A mission statement can also be created for the family or the individual. This month’s activity asks you to create a family mission statement. A great way to start is to have each member of the family list their top 3 values desired for the family. Brainstorm (or draw) examples of how the values are enacted. Finally, put it together in a statement that represents your family’s highest ideals for itself. Once you have the mission statement, it might be a fun additional activity to create a poster of the statement and display it in your home. Of note, a statement may be short or long, as it is unique to your family and are the principles you choose to lead your family life.

Here are a few examples of family mission statements:

· Our family respects, supports and cares for one another because we cherish living in a home that is a place where we can relax, laugh, and feel good.

· Our mission as a family is to: be there for each other and work as a team. We treat each other with kindness, both in words and deed, even when we have to say or do something that is hard.

· The Ross Family works hard, tells the truth and stands for what is right.

NuMinds Hosts On-Campus Day Camp on April 13 (Bad Weather Make-Up Day)

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Buddy to Buddy Learning

LPS Fourth Grade Students Start "Buddy" Mentoring Program

Clusters of students line the kindergarten and first grade hallways as young students pour over their books and worksheets sounding out words and honing their letter writing skills. This image is typical of any classroom filled with students this age. However, the scene at Leadership Prep School (LPS) is different. Alongside each cluster of students sits a fourth grader, who is known as a "buddy" to the younger students.

Peer tutoring is one example of the leadership activities taking place at LPS. The project itself was created out of an idea from a team of seven fourth grade students, known as the "LPS Lions," who worked together on a service learning challenge for the 2019 Destination Imagination competition. The students considered several proposals, including ideas presented from fourth grade peers who were not on their team. The team ultimately agreed on creating a mentoring program - something they hope will become a legacy project for future fourth grade leaders on the elementary campus. This project, which became known as "the buddy system," was embraced by school leadership and quickly evolved into an ongoing program at Leadership Prep School.

"Our model is designed to empower our students to be leaders," says Michelle Creamer, Elementary School Principal at LPS. "When the students approached me with their idea, I provided them with guidance and suggestions, but ultimately, I left the coordination and implementation of the project to them. As the oldest students on our elementary campus, I wanted them to take ownership in creating a high-quality service project for our school."

According to the Peer Tutoring Handbook for Tutors and Mentor Teachers prepared by Annette M. Tudor at Tennessee High School, tutoring benefits both tutors and tutees improving communication skills, organizational skills, and overall learning. In addition to increasing mastery of academic skills, tutoring programs with a mentoring component provide positive role models and emotional support for tutees. For tutors, understanding of concepts is raised to a higher level.

“My favorite thing about the buddy program is being able to work with and help younger students,” says Advith Mudunuru, fourth grade student and leader of the LPS Lions Destination Imagination team.

Advith also served as a leader during an assembly for all elementary students. During the assembly, Advith and his team acted out a skit to demonstrate how the buddy-to-buddy mentoring program works. Afterwards, children in kindergarten through third grade were asked if they want to continue leading the mentoring program when they become fourth graders. The collective shout from the audience was a resounding, “Yes!”

Summer Camp Opportunities

LPS partners with several organizations that provide enrichment programs during the summer. If you're looking to keep your students engaged, enthused, and learning during the summer, please review the following opportunities.

NuMinds - NuMinds will offer their Camp Pursuit summer camps on LPS' secondary campus this summer, and they are providing our families with a discount of $25 off when the code "LPS2019" is entered at checkout. Their mix-aged STEM enrichment programs that are as academic as enriching and fun.

Abrakadoodle - Abrakadoodle will offer academic art summer camp programs on LPS' secondary campus this summer.

Club LIT - Club LIT provides Christian-based learning and exploration opportunities during their summer camps in Elevate Life Church. They have camps starting the first week of June that run to the first week in August.

iCode - iCode is a leader in computer science education and offers programs, such as programming, robotics, and digital arts, that help today's students gain the technical expertise, cognitive flexibility, and real-world skills to be tomorrow's exceptional talent.

GradePower Learning - GradePower Learning offers camps and tutorial programs to keep students sharp in the summer months as well as work on areas that may be challenging for students.

Frisco School of Music and Performing Arts - Frisco School of Music and Performing Arts offers camps focusing on arts, music, theater, and dance. They also offer private music lessons.

brickLAB, Inc. - brickLAB, Inc. offers a variety of summer camps focusing on robotics, computer programming, stop motion film, and architecture.

LPS is the P.L.A.C.E. to be!

The mission of Leadership Prep School is to inspire students to learn, grow, and lead for a lifetime. The acronym P.L.A.C.E. summarizes the five key areas that have been selected as the focus of LPS’ vision: Parent partnership, Leadership development, Academics, Creativity and Excellence.

LPS is proud to be a Leader in Me based school that applies The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to emphasize a culture of student empowerment and help unleash each child’s full potential. Focusing on the program’s timeless leadership principles nurtures the skills students need for success in the 21st century.

Leadership Prep School is recognized as a “Computer Science Immersion School” by Code to the Future. LPS integrates programming and game design into its curriculum starting in kindergarten with more advanced computer science concepts introduced as students advance each year.

Leadership Prep School is part of the New Tech Network and partners with local businesses to engage students in project-based learning activities, which enhances critical thinking skills in order that students may become strong problem-solvers. Project-based learning methodology makes learning relevant and prepares students for the demands of the workplace.