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Lee County schools find success with new life-skills program

Lee County Primary School has the mindsets and their lessons all throughout its hallways. / Mary Green

With summer just around the corner, students at Lee County schools have learned a lot this year.

But they’ve also learned some things you won’t find in your textbooks: the Seven Mindsets.

The nationwide, life-skills program based out of Atlanta is wrapping up its first year in Lee County and teaches seven different “mindsets” to students: Everything is possible; live to give; passion first; 100 percent accountable; the time is now; we are connected; and attitude of gratitude.

While the program can be found throughout the country, Lee County schools are the first system in South Georgia to implement it.

“We really did not have a lot of character ed updated programs,” said Dana Hernandez, the school system’s behavior specialist and PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) coordinator. “I started looking for a program to try to teach our kids morals, character traits, social-emotional [skills].”

The program is now used at all grade levels in the school system, though their lessons are different based on age. At Lee County Primary School, students learn a different mindset each month and then reinforce it with activities each week on “Mindset Monday.”

When they learned about “passion first,” each student brought in a photo of themselves that showed what their passion was. The project helped second-grader Hayley Heath find out what her dreams are.

“The reason why I wanted to be a softball player is because I am a softball player, and I want to grow up to be a really good softball player,” she said.

In April, the entire school system used the “live to give” mindset to organize a donation collection for Dougherty County School System families affected by the January storms.

“It’s our job to teach these children how to be friends and how to love one another and how to be connected to everyone and give to others, and in return, you just get so much more.”

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