Bibb County Schools Receives $1M Donation to The Leader in Me

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

The Charles H. Jones Foundation has granted a $1 million gift to the ongoing implementation of The Leader in Me, which will allow the character-driven leadership process to expand to every elementary and middle school in the Bibb County School District.

Blake Sullivan, co-chair of the Business Education Partnership, announced at today’s OneMacon Steering Committee meeting that this is the largest single donation toward The Leader in Me’s implementation since fundraising began in March 2017. This donation now brings the combined gifts from private donors to $2.4 million to implement The Leader in our elementary and middle schools.  Additional funds are being raised to complete the funding for The Leader in Me in our high schools.

The Charles H. Jones Family Foundation, named in honor of Dwight Jones’ father, has donated significant resources to projects in Macon, Central Georgia and across the United States. 

“Dwight Jones is a tireless advocate for our community and one item at the top of his interest list is public education. When I approached him about The Leader in Me he jumped at the chance to enable leadership to be taught to our children. Dwight has been a tireless leader and knows how leadership can change our community,” said Sullivan. “Because of that and the successful leadership of Bibb County School District Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones and the Bibb County School District, the Foundation decided that an investment of $1 million was the best opportunity to help our public schools.”

The Leader in Me process is based on best-in-class content and concepts practiced by education thought-leaders. Guided by Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Leader in Me is a whole-child, paradigm-shifting process that teaches enduring values and principles that students can use throughout their lives – in and outside the classroom – preparing them for post-graduate education and beyond.

The success of this process is what interested Jones, a lifelong practitioner of Covey’s “Seven Habits,” and the Charles H. Jones Foundation board. “One only has to look at the Bibb schools that have previously implemented The Leader in Me to see the huge impact; as well as the possibilities in a county-wide initiative,” said Dwight Jones. “Our board feels that The Leader in Me has the ability to be the most transformable grant we have ever been involved with. We are excited about the long-term impact and are privileged to be a part of this important endeavor."

Currently, the Bibb County School District has 21 elementary, middle and high schools engaged in The Leader in Me process. In August 2018, Southwest High School became the first high school in the Bibb County School District and the state of Georgia to engage in the leadership skills of The Leader in Me, using these skills to help become college, career and workforce ready. Now, the Business Education Partnership, a collaborative group of local business leaders working with the Bibb County School District, is expanding its original fundraising goal in order to incorporate The Leader in Me in all six Bibb County high schools in the next few years.