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Ten fifth graders from Weilenmann School of Discovery participated in the Leadership Challenge for Elementary Schools at the Stephen R. Covey Leadership Center and the Huntsman School of Business on the Utah State University (USU) campus in Logan, Utah on Friday, April 22, 2022. Working collaboratively and creatively with peers from around the state, WSD students solved problems, created solutions, and moved from one activity to another in a series of activities that built upon previous material and understanding.

LCES is a unique opportunity for elementary students to receive leadership training. This year, 100 students from 10 different schools were invited to participate. Interested WSD students were required to submit a resume and be interviewed by their fifth grade teachers. Once selected, the students, along with two faculty chaperones, made the 2-hour drive to the USU campus, where they were divided into teams with students from other Utah schools. Teams received leadership training from USU students, who led them in a variety of experiential learning challenges and leadership simulations.

“I was impressed with how well organized and engaging the leadership training was throughout the whole day,” remarked fifth grade teacher Chris McIntosh. “The participants were excited and enthusiastic all day long!” WSD 5th graders enjoyed the format and the overall planning of the event. “I loved how everything was interactive and we could all work together throughout the challenges,” remarked one student. “Even though there were captains, we all got to be leaders,” observed another. The takeaways for students were meaningful in terms of building communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. As one student summed it up, “It has really made me a better communicator and leader.”