Ross Early Act Club discusses club, ‘Leader in Me’

First graders help present special program

It was fitting on a day that the Rotary Club of Crowley set up a booth at the Career Expo that the club would welcome members from Ross Elementary’s Early Act/Motivational Club and other students to show off their achievements and the “Leader In Me” program Tuesday.

The Early Act Club is one of several youth programs the Rotary Club of Crowley is heavily involved in and with the help of it and, now, programs like “Leader In Me,” Ross Elementary students are beginning to really shine in Acadia Parish.

First to speak was the school’s principal, Paula Cutrer, who explained how excited she and the students were to attend the Rotary meeting.

“We have awaited this day eagerly,” she said, “to not only tell you about our Early Act Club, but to tell you what is going on at Ross Elementary.”

Cutrer also invited the Rotarians to visit the school and be amazed by the students’ continual growth.

Early Act Club President Cierra Dronet, in her second year as president, spoke next. Dronet took the time to introduce her fellow officers in attendance – Antonio Perusin, vice president, and Skylar Dugar, secretary – as well as the other officers in the club. 

Dronet also explained that the club boasted all six eligible students for Fifth Grade Student of the Year. Among other requirements, fifth graders have to have good behavior, get along with others and have had a 3.5 GPA or higher and scored mastery or advanced on the LEAP and iLEAP tests from grades three to five. Dronet, who was the school’s student of the year selection, also pointed out that Perusin and Dugar were among those in the running.

“I am not looking forward to May 29 at 12:30 p.m. as that will be my last day at Ross Elementary,” she said.

The club has had a busy year already as it helped put on Grandparents’ Day as well as Drug-Free Week. They put together Thanksgiving baskets for needy Ross Elementary families and sponsored a Christmas door decorating contest. It’s latest project came to fruition just last week as the Early Act Club helped the rest of the school prepare for and participate in the United Way of Acadiana Vision Board’s site visit. The site visit provided the board a chance to see what the school has done under the “Leader In Me” program.

Perusin also showed how busy the club had been. He presented a check to the Rotary Club of Crowley for Rotary International’s Polio Foundation in the amount of $300.

Before turning the floor back over to Cutrer for a couple of special surprises, Dugar read a poem entitled “Dare to Dream.”

Then Cutrer introduced some of the school’s first graders to showcase what the “Leader In Me” program is all about.

The “Leader In Me” program, as Cutrer explained, allows students to embrace leadership. Each student at the school has a job and each student is a leader. The program, taken from Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Successful Students,” also helps the students feel good about themselves.

For the first graders, like Jeremy Dugar who presented the poem “Tomorrow’s Opportunities,” or some of Christine Freeman’s first graders that presented the “7 Habits of a Happy Kid,” the program is already teaching them a lot.

“And that’s the first graders, you can imagine what my fifth graders are doing,” said Cutrer.

Earlier in the meeting, the Rotary Club of Crowley presented Gwen Cormier the vocational award.

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