CEDAR VALLEY, Iowa (8/13/13)--Two Cedar Valley of Iowa financial service organizations have pledged $105,000 to help ensure an effective leadership development initiative reaches students in two more schools in the area.
CUNA Mutual Group and Waterloo-based Veridian CU pledged the amount to the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber's Leader Valley initiative to further implement The Leader In Me program.
The initiative builds personal skills as students put into practice the principles of Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Schools where the program has been implemented successfully see higher academic achievement, fewer discipline problems and increased engagement among teachers and parents, said the three organizations in a press release.
CUNA Mutual Group, through its foundation, committed $75,000 to sponsor the program's implementation at George Washington Carver Academy Middle School and Kittrell Elementary, both located in Waterloo. Veridian CU committed $30,000 to Kittrell Elementary and also participates in the school's Partners in Education program.
The amount will be distributed over three years and initially will provide training and materials to staff and educators at the sponsored schools.
With the addition of the two schools, the program now has 14 Cedar Valley schools participating. Roughly 6,075 students and 842 educators will participate during the upcoming 2013-2014 school year. That number represents more than one-third of total students and educators in the Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Cedar Valley Catholic schools.
"We believe everyone is a leader," said Jean Trainor, Veridian CEO and chief inclusion officer. "The Leader In Me program demonstrates that same belief and benefits our entire community as much as it does the students who participate."
Reid Koenig, vice president of CUNA Mutual Group, said, "When one interacts with students who have been impacted by The Leader in Me, you quickly realize the effect the program is already having in transforming their lives. Our communities and businesses will reap the benefit of building great citizens and leaders for years to come."
Steve Dust, CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber noted that one of that group's "primary goals is to develop a strong, highly talented and skilled workforce to help businesses of all sizes grow and prosper in Cedar Valley."
The combined $105,000 will be presented Thursday at the New Teachers Breakfast at Hawkeye Community College.
Such outreach programs provide examples of credit unions demonstrating their value to their community by fostering excellent service, raising awareness of the value of credit unions in the community and removing barriers as part of the Credit Union National Association's and state leagues' Unite for Good campaign. That campaign's goal is to have "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner."