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Banfield student council gets down to business

The Banfield Elementary Student Council carried out one of its final meetings of the year in regular fashion last week.

The 23 students rose out of their desks and recited the pledge of allegiance Thursday afternoon before student council president Grace Thoen called the meeting to order.

The group of third-, fourth- and fifth-graders carries out their meetings procedurally — as any governmental elected body.

Secretary-treasurer Ben Kinney next read aloud the last meeting’s minutes for approval before the council could move onto new business.

“Are there any corrections or additions?” Fifth-grader Thoen asked a captive council.

A motion was passed to accept the minutes following Thoen’s response to a first-year council member who piped up, “What does that mean?”

Banfield has had a student council for as long as its advisor, Marsha Wilson, can recall.

The after-school club is made up of one student from each third, fourth and fifth grade classroom. Fifth-graders also elect a president; and fourth graders, a vice president and treasurer-secretary.

“It’s a fun way for students to get involved in their school, and see what it’s like to be a part of something big,” Wilson said. “It also teaches them some things about civics and responsibility.”

Following formalities, the council got down to business Thursday. The rest of the meeting was spent hurriedly folding and stapling papers to be passed out to parents at an open house that evening.

“It’s nice to be involved in everything,” Thoen said of her role as president. “I like to know everything that’s going on.”

Thoen, who was on student council in third grade and took a hiatus in fourth grade, said her favorite council activity this year was organizing the school’s Pennies for Patients drive.

The student council’s February work was dedicated to planning that fundraising event which raised $2,156 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Wilson said.

Kinney, who is in his inaugural year on the council, said he hasn’t had a favorite project but likes the work at each bimonthly meeting.

“It seemed very exciting and all my friends said it was fun,” he said of his decision to run.

Katherine McNally, fourth grade vice president, does have a favorite project. She most enjoyed planning events for “Wacky Week,” a school spirit week.

“I like deciding what things we do as a school… Plus, when the president is gone, I run the meetings,” McNally said.

In addition to the officers’ picks, the student council also plans service projects; food drives; thank you gifts for teachers; and the school’s Veteran’s Day breakfast, which Wilson says is “one of the best days.”

“I liked figuring out what to do for teacher appreciation,” said fifth-grade councilmember Kaitlyn Ungerecht. “I’m from Baudette, and we didn’t have student council at my old school. When I started at Banfied, I thought ‘this is so cool, I have to do it.’”

Fifth-grade councilmember Emilee Falch said she took pride in organizing this year’s “Hats on for Anika” fundraiser.

The event, in which the student council charged students $1 to wear a hat to school, raised $295 for the family of the five year-old who had been diagnosed with cancer.

“She’s in my sister’s class, and we are praying for her,” Falch said. “And in student council, we are working for her.”