Eagles player talks '7 habits' with students

Punt returner Britain Covey is the grandson of Stephen R. Covey, the author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Neidig and Richland students are learning leadership principles through the work of the Leader in Me process, which is based on that book.
Posted on 02/02/2023
Eagles punt returner Britain Covey shares a hug with a Neidig Elementary School student.By Gary Weckselblatt

Super Bowl-bound Philadelphia Eagle Britain Covey visited Neidig and Richland elementary schools on Wednesday. And while students excitedly asked questions and received hugs and high-fives from the Eagles rookie punt returner, questions weren’t only about the team, playing in the National Football League and facing the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

Mr. Covey spoke about something he shares with the students at both schools: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” He is the grandson of Stephen R. Covey, the author of the book that Neidig and Richland students are learning leadership principles from. The Leader in Me process is an elementary version of Stephen R. Covey’s work.

“He was the most amazing man in the world,” Britain Covey said. “I love him so much and I miss him.”

Leader in Me is an ongoing process that teaches 21st-century leadership and life skills to students, and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader. Neidig and Richland consistently weaves this process into the existing QCSD curriculum, and teaches students about responsibility, creativity, ownership of learning, goal setting, self-awareness, initiative, communication, integrity, and teamwork. These skills represent the heart of QCSD's mission to create College and Career Ready students.

Britain Covey said he learned the seven habits as a boy, uses them today and has shared his grandfather’s books with some Eagles teammates.

“I use the seven habits all the time,” Britain Covey said. An example: “Begin with the end in mind. I’m going to score a touchdown every time I catch the ball.”

Which habit helps you beat the other team? “Synergize, coming together,” he said. "You guys really think that I could beat the Dallas Cowboys on my own? Probably not. But guess what? I have teammates like Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown, and when I work together with them, they help me beat them."

What’s the hardest habit to follow? "Seek first to understand, then be understood," he said. "I know this teacher, this coach really cares about me. I need to listen to him and what he's saying to me because he cares," Mr. Covey said. "That's the hardest habit to follow but I think it's the most important."

Richland Principal Nicole Zuerblis said “I’m so happy with your connection to the seven habits.”

He said his best friend on the Eagles is Jake Elliot, the Eagles placekicker. Team leaders are Jason Kelce and Brandon Graham.

Seeing a student with a Darren Sproles number 43 jersey, he called him “my favorite player of all time. Like he was, I’m the smallest player on the whole team.”

Musicians in both schools greeted Mr. Covey with the Eagles fight song "Fly Eagles Fly." And he welcomed by the mascot from each school, Neidig’s Nash and Richland’s Richie.

He was very generous with his time. His first visit was with Neidig students in grades K-2. He then went to the second floor to meet students in grades 3-5. At Richland, students and teachers filled the cafeteria. He later visited classrooms for pictures with students.

Several media members were on hand. FOX 29, WFMZ-TVThe Intelligencer and Courier Times newspapersThe Morning Call and Upper Bucks Free Press. WFMZ reporter Rose Itzcovitz interviewed Neidig students Sofia Gehris and Jameson McKenna.

Asked for his thoughts when he sees the legacy left by his grandfather, Mr. Covey said “It makes me tear up. He was Papa to me. I get to see what an amazing influence he was.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected].
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