Learning to lead

Published 10:24 am Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sixteen students at Sumner Elementary are the lead decision-makers for the student body, organizing events and planning fun activities.

The Student Council — composed of two students from each of the eight classrooms in grades 3-5 — meet twice a month with advisor Christy Halsey. The council elects officers and conducts meetings just as a “grown up” council would.

“You get to think of all the cool ideas,” said Kaylee May, fourth grade.

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“We get to run the school store,” said James Grover, a fifth-grader.

Their Thursday meeting began with roll call, minutes from the previous meeting and old and new business. The students discussed moving the school store into the auditorium, and what they would like to do for the volunteer appreciation event in April teacher appreciation event in May.

In June, they debated planning a sock hop for the school.

For the volunteer appreciation day, they have held assemblies and handed out candy in the past, Halsey explained to the council.

“Let them have the day off,” Grover suggested.

Halsey explained they can’t have the day off because they voluntarily help out at the school, and the school can’t ask their employers to give them a day off from their regular jobs.

“My dad could maybe come and volunteer,” May said. “He could teach them about DARE.”

Halsey said the purpose of the event is to express appreciation to volunteers.

“At assemblies, we could have them come up and get a prize,” McFarland said.

Grover suggested awarding them gift certificates, like for pizzas, or have all the students in the school sign a thank-you poster. The council decided in the end to hold an assembly for the volunteers.

“Student council helps the students have a voice,” Halsey said. “It also gives them ownership in the school in planning these events.”

Halsey said the council has planned a food drive; operated the school store, which sells supplies to students, with proceeds donated back to the school; held events for the “Character Counts” program; and bought paraprofessionals flowers in the past year.

During meetings, Halsey said she usually asks for solutions or ideas for activities or projects.

“They come up with it on their own, so that’s good to see,” she said.