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      Program churning leaders out of youngsters

      {}{}{}{} Youngsters at Cresmont Elementary school in Northport are truly powerful young leaders in the making.{} Its all thanks to a program called the Leader In Me where students take seven habits serious to take control of their future at their young ages.

      {}{}{}{} But, 3rd grade teacher Travis Rhodes is really taking is classes progress to the extreme in a good way -- to where the students truly believe they'll be leading their generation in the near future.{} "I am a leader. I want to be a leader everyday," said student Devon Collins without being provoked or even asked.

      {}{}{}{} Teacher Rhodes has signs like 'Champions' and 'Game Plan' plastered all over his walls.{} And in big bold cut-out letters above his desk a bulletin board reads 'We Will Lead'.

      {}{}{}{} He runs his classroom like a company.{} Students have to keep a neat --data book--...more like a resume of their grades, homework, classwork and use it as presentation to fill out an actual application and interview for classroom job-duties.{} "Show their grades, show their work...prove why they should work for this company," said Rhodes.{} He believes the idea merges well with the classroom curriculum and says he's seen the students use the leadership-skills to take charge of their assignments like never before.{} "There's been many times in reading where I've said hey was this person in our story proactive or in science did this volcano cause something to happen."

      {}{}{} For student Macie Lancaster, it all goes back to that number one habit "Begin with the End in Mind," she quoted.{} "That means that I really have to think before I start to do something."

      {}{}{} "That means, think before you talk," said one classmate who backed her up.{} In fact, the program seems to be so successful -- it seemed most of the students only wanted to talk business...like the little leaders they've become.{} "I feel like an adult applying for a job," student Collins exclaimed.

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