"Leaders of today, inspiring leaders of tomorrow:" It's a simple statement, but one that means a lot to the students of Mrs. Lamp's reading class at Cerritos Leadership Academy.

At Cerritos Leadership Academy we have the opportunity to practice leadership skills every day in our classroom. In the past, we have created interactive smart board lessons and taught other classes about following our school's CARES rules, as well as produced 7 Habits music videos.

Our most recent project is inspired by author Sean Covey and our reading, Where the Red Fern Grows. We are making a "7 Habits" book devoted to inform young children about leadership using friendly language with our family pets as characters. We are creating this book using Adobe Photoshop, publishing it, and then selling it to raise money for the Arizona Animal Welfare League. Through this process we have utilized all of the 7 Habits.

We used Habit 1, be proactive, by writing this book so that we can help to make our community a better place and care for the animals in need. Habit 2 says to begin with the end in mind; which is what we did as we went through the writing process for publishing our stories.

As a class we put first things first, Habit 3, by working hard to get our story finished so that we could sell it at our spring book fair. We thought win-win, Habit 4, as we collaborated with our co-authors on planning our book and rough drafts. Habit 5 involved a lot of seeking first to understand, then to be understood, while incorporating all of our ideas into the book so that everyone's voice was heard. It is obvious through all of these previous habits that we synergized a lot as our ideas became better together (Habit 6.)

Finally, Habit 7 was easy for us, as we sharpened the saw by having fun and being creative during all of this hard work. As a matter of fact, we just used all of the habits as we wrote this article together. Using the 7 Habits is simple, but important, to help us be good leaders of our lives.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of our book or donating to the Arizona Animal Welfare League, contact us at mmeist@kyrene.org.

By the fourth- and fifth-grade students of Michelle Lamp, gifted resource teacher at Cerritos Leadership Academy.

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