EL MONTE – El Monte City School District students learned the importance of courage, responsibility and integrity after attending a series of assemblies connecting those virtues to the District’s social-emotional learning program, Leader in Me.

Presented by Camfel Productions, a nonprofit that develops character-building programs and videos for students, the assemblies featured grade-specific videos on anti-bullying, the dangers of drug use and how to be responsible on social media.

Assemblies were held at Cherrylee, Columbia, Cortada, Durfee, Cleminson, LeGore, New Lexington, Gidley, Rio Hondo, Rio Vista, Potrero, Wilkerson, Wright and Shirpser schools for all grades on Aug. 22, 26, 27, 28 and Sept. 4.

“It’s about teaching students how their behavior is bigger than themselves,” said Ernie Ayala, National Team Director of Camfel Productions. “Education is not just academic; it is also important to instill a sense of responsibility and support self-confidence in students.”

Videos used popular songs and movie titles alongside real student interviews and stories to illustrate how being kind, having self-confidence and having respect can change lives.

“The movie was inspiring to me because the students on the screen were just being themselves and I think that we don’t always have that courage,” Wright School seventh-grader Emilia Guzman said.

For the last three years, the Leader in Me program has encompassed all District schools, teaching students the importance of developing leadership qualities, exuding positive attitudes and advocating the teachings of the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

“We want our students to grow up to become well-rounded professionals who contribute to society in a positive way, and it is our job as educators to show our students the different ways that they can act responsibly, be dependable and be honest,” Wright School Principal Monica Munoz said.


EMCSD_RESPONSIBILITY1: Wright Elementary School seventh- and eighth-graders attend a Camfel assembly led by Ernie Ayala, the national team director at Camfel Productions, to learn about values such as responsibility and how to be their best self.