Bains Elementary School’s Luminous Leaders comprise fourth- and fifth-grade students who have been interviewed by teachers and peers in order to be accepted onto the team of leaders, said teacher Marilyn Pohlmann.

The team meets weekly to work on personal, school and community goals.

“This team prides itself on working very hard to embody the seven habits of highly effective people in all aspects of its members’ lives,” Pohlmann said. “One of the missions of the team is to teach people around it how to be leaders.”

Based on the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” West Feliciana implemented the Leader in Me program this school year at Bains Lower and Bains Elementary schools.

The program is designed to equip students with the self-confidence and skills they’ll need to thrive in life and teaches the values of leadership, accountability, adaptability, initiative, cross-cultural skills, problem-solving, communication, creativity and teamwork based on the seven guiding principles outlined in the book and a follow-up titled “The Leader in Me,” said Bains Lower Librarian Linda Holmes, who helped launch the program.

“This is the first year for Luminous Leaders, and the students have come up with wonderful ideas for a future team,” Pohlmann said.

After some planning and a little guidance from a sponsor, Pohlmann said the team’s ideas for a community project became a reality March 14 when members hosted a book drive at the West Feliciana Parish Library in St. Francisville.

Invitations were sent out to all schools within the parish, encouraging students to bring their families to the book exchange.

The project’s goal was twofold. “They understand that readers make good leaders,” said Pohlmann, “and in order to help more people in the community become leaders, they knew they needed to be proactive. There are a number of homes that don’t contain a single book, and people of all ages are missing out on opportunities to expand their knowledge through the written word.”

Pohlmann said getting books into homes was one part of the goal. “The other was to eliminate books from being tossed aside, forgotten, or worse, being thrown away,” said Pohlmann. “The book drive was an opportunity for households to donate books that were no longer being read, as well as an opportunity to take home new and different books.”