KENTLAND — Six South Newton Elementary students accepted and conquered the “Sharpen the Saw” Challenge over the summer as part of the school’s teachings of The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.

Laura Zak, school counselor, set up the challenge as a way to get children to think about taking care of themselves while away for summer break.

“The 7th habit, Sharpen the Saw, is all about self-care and getting the children to the best versions of themselves,” said Zak. “This wasn’t an assignment, it was a way for them to find things to do that make them happy.”

The challenge was open to all elementary students, and each student was given a list of 100 activities. Students that chose to do and document 75 of those activities completed the challenge.

As a reward, all students that completed the challenge received a prize, their name and picture in the Newton County Enterprise and entry into the grand prize drawing for a basket full of gifts.

Completing the challenge were Letty Spurr, Abrie Albrecht, Addy Farmer, Gia Montero, Karter Frederick, and Koleton Frederick. Gia Montero’s name was drawn out as the grand prize winner on Sept. 3.

“I am so proud of what they did,” said Zak. “They worked all summer for this. They did a great job documenting the fun they had by filling out journals, and some even did a powerpoint presentation of the challenge.”

7 Habits of Happy Kids

1. Be Proactive

2. Begin with the End in Mind

3. Put First Things First

4. Think Win-Win

5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

6. Synergize

7. Sharpen the Saw

Habits 1, 2, and 3 are focused on self-mastery and moving from dependence to independence. Habits 4, 5, and 6 are focused on developing teamwork, collaboration, and communication skills, and moving from independence to interdependence. Habit 7 is focused on continuous growth and improvement and embodies all the other habits.

“It is important to make self-care a habit in your life,” Zak told the students as part of the challenge. “Your job is to be the best you that you can be, and in order to do that, you have to ‘sharpen your saw.’ This means to keep your body, mind, heart, and soul in shape.”