New Initiative Aims to Build Young Leaders


This fall, the student activities division introduced a new leadership initiative at the second and third grade level called “Little Leaders.” Thus far, two “Little Leaders” conferences have been piloted with rave reviews. The first conference took place on October 5th with Joel School (Clinton) joining Totoket Valley and Jerome Harrison Schools in North Branford. The event was organized under the direction of school administrators, Dr. Carter Welch and Joe Macrino, who are both members of the CAS School Climate Committee. A second “Little Leaders” program took place on December 8th at JFK Elementary School (Milford) with Sunnyside School (Shelton) joining. Principals Bonnie Etense and Amy Yost, also members of CAS School Climate Committee, directed the program.

The breakout sessions at each conference addressed four strands: productive thinking, communication, decision making and creative problem solving. Students worked with partners from other schools in activities such as leaders vs. bosses, the power of “yet,” and Ozobots. Said one student, “It was fun to be around and learn from other leaders. I wanted to do more sessions.”

Remarked Totoket Principal Dr. Carter Welch following the October 5th conference, “The event was a bit of a leap of faith and no one was sure how it would turn out, but in the end it came together as a wonderful experience. It was amazing to see all the students K-5 working together seamlessly generating great ideas, enthusiasm0 and learning. The adult facilitators were incredible, too, and their passion, creativity, and energy were contagious in helping to engage and empower the students. All the students came away with rich experiences in community service, problem solving, mentoring, gratitude, climate building, and overall leadership development. It is my hope that these ideas and the enthusiasm will grow in each school and spread around the state so we can continue this movement to empower and believe in our little leaders.”

Additional “Little Leaders” conferences are in the planning stages. If interested in hosting one, please get in touch with Dave Maloney, dmaloneyatcasciacdotorg.

Check out the awesome video of the December 8th little leaders event at JFK and see the benefits of getting your young students involved!