PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - Pineville elementary is under construction this year, but not physically. It is the first school to undergo a whole school transformation under the new 'Leader in Me' program.
Students are only a month into school learning 21st-century leadership and life skills that will stay with them forever.
The program is based on the book, 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People', and focuses on teaching students good community citizenship building at an early age.
Students are blasted with messages of positivity and given the responsibility to carry out jobs in the classroom. They can also apply for school jobs, which teaches them what skills companies look for in an employee.
"You are like a grown up and the teachers are your manager," said sixth-grader Kourtland Marcotte. "If you don't show up, she is going to give the job to somebody else."
The program is in 48 schools across six parishes, but this is the first one in Rapides.
Pineville's Assistant Principal Blair Jeanise said the program has been proven to raise academics and attendance.
"Anything that the teacher needs done, we've told them, find a student to do it," Jeanise said. "We want them all to have a leadership role and feel a part of the school."
The United Way of Central Louisiana is providing the funding to help the 'Leader in Me' program thrive at Pineville.