Connolly School Adopts Teachings from Sean Covey’s “7 Habits of Happy Kids”
In March, students at Connolly Elementary School in the Glen Cove City School District made their mark—literally, by imprinting their hands on the school’s bulletin, as part of a school-wide Social Emotional Learning initiative.
In January 2021, the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Committee announced a new initiative based on the principles in The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey. The program teaches leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader. It demonstrates that when children are immersed in timeless, universal principles—such as responsibility, service, and honesty, both at home and at school, their worth and potential is affirmed and reinforced.
The 7 Habits of Happy Kids book showcases lively animal characters and positive characteristics that align with key social-emotional learning principles:
- Be Proactive– manage feelings and learn to be motivated.
- Begin with the End in Mind– anticipate the good, persist, and be resilient.
- Put First Things First– prioritize positive choices, plans and accomplishment.
- Think Win-Win– adopt a growth mindset.
- Seek to Understand and Be Understood– manage feelings and be empathetic.
- Synergize– focus on strengths.
- Sharpen the Saw– take care of self and others and find meaning and purpose.
Connolly School has been practicing and instilling these teachings in order to help students build character and develop a sense of self—something crucial for children to learn at a young age. Students are chosen monthly and recognized for demonstrating these characteristics around the school community. They are labeled as “Mullan’s Marvels” for displaying such superhero behavior.
“It will provide students a sense of pride and acknowledgement that goes beyond praise, as well as demonstrating how they are contributing to our school community by displaying leadership qualities,” said Julie Mullan, Principal of Connolly Elementary School. “The student response has been great – they feel excited to be recognized beyond just their classroom walls.”
Students awarded for January and February recently gathered around the “7 Habits Tree” on the entrance hallway’s bulletin board decorated by art teacher Korey Zalk. The awarded students have their hands, made to look like leaves, imprinted on the board. This is representative of how they have made their stamp on the school community with their leadership qualities. In addition to hand imprints, students who are awarded receive a certificate of achievement, selected to do an activity with Mrs. Mullan on the daily morning Zoom announcements, and are featured on the Connolly School website.
PBIS is a team of school staff who engage in creating a safer, more effective school environment. It is a systems approach to enhancing the capacity of school to educate all children by developing research-based, school wide, classroom discipline systems through systemic problem solving, planning, and evaluation. This program encourages students to develop confidence, integrity, and the courage to do the right thing.
For more information about the Glen Cove City School District, please visit the District’s website at www.glencoveschools.org. Happenings in the District can also be followed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/glencovecityschooldistrict.