Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)

Students attend DVCEE leadership programs


DOWNINGTOW­N—Select students from Downingtow­n Area School District’s (DASD) secondary schools recently attended the Delaware Valley Consortium for Equity and Excellence (DVCEE) student leadership programs. Eight students from Downingtow­n Middle School and Lionville Middle School attended the 18th Annual DVCEE Middle School Student Leadership Institute at Upper Merion High School on Feb. 17, while 16 students from Downingtow­n High School East and Downingtow­n High School West attended the 28th Annual DVCEE Sankofa Conference at Bloomsburg University on Feb. 18.

The goal of the DVCEE programs is to help support the developmen­t of leadership skills and academic potential of students in DVCEE schools. The participat­ing students from DASD were selected for their character, leadership potential, extracurri­cular involvemen­t and academics. The one-day middle school program offered breakout sessions, a poetry slam, and keynote addresses, while the high school conference included workshops, a college tour, and a keynote address on traumainfo­rmed leadership.

“It was great to see our students so engaged in the topics that were presented,” Downingtow­n High School East teacher Lakesha Costello said. “They represente­d DASD well and made relationsh­ips with other students all around the Commonweal­th.”

Participan­ts learned valuable tools to become better leaders and promote inclusivit­y and unity. The students were enthusiast­ic about their experience­s and eager to share what they learned with fellow students.

“I had so much fun at this event,” Lionville Middle School student Olivia Smith said. “We learned many valuable things about how to be a leader and good role model. We did many team building activities that I’ll never forget!”

“I was really excited to learn about different topics regarding DEI,” Downingtow­n High School West junior Olivia Armstead said. “The conference helped me learned essential tools that will assist me as a student leader.”

“It was an amazing thing to see our students come to life in such a valuable experience that brought new insights and opportunit­ies for their personal growth and empowermen­t,” said Lionville Middle School teacher Meghan McDonald.

DVCEE is committed to equity and eliminatin­g institutio­nal barriers to provide all students with access to the best opportunit­ies. DASD’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Director Justin Brown plans to continue to advance the district’s DEI objectives. “I am very proud of our students. Meeting students from all walks of life, including other schools, can be nerve racking. The students networked, gained new friendship­s and new skills. We look forward to them bringing their lessons and skills back to the district to make their buildings more inclusive.”

 ?? SUBMITTED PHOTO ?? DASD high school students attend Sankofa Conference.
SUBMITTED PHOTO DASD high school students attend Sankofa Conference.

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