My biggest project this year has been starting the first Student Council at College View Elementary. It was open to our 4th and 5th grade classes. Each student who was interested had to fill out a 5 page application and write a 4 paragraph essay to try and get one of the ten spots available. Even though this was a lot of extra work, 30 students applied. The teachers then read them and voted for the students that had the most creative and well-written submission. We meet once a week in the library to discuss upcoming events and how they can participate. I give each student important roles and responsibilities so that they will gain leadership and teamwork skills from the experience.
The Student Council members chose to rotate positions each month so that each student gets to experience all of the different responsibilities that come with each position. At first, the students were shy and afraid to take on some of the positions and responsibility. They didn’t want to have to speak in front of anyone, but that changed very quickly. Now the students can’t wait to announce events in front of their peers or even the whole school.
The Student Council has been helping out a lot with events going on around the school. We put on a movie night to help raise money for the 5th grade ski trip. The members voted to show the movie “Escape from Planet Earth” and served popcorn and juice. They worked very hard to make sure they served their student body to the best of their ability. I noticed how helpful and polite they were to all of the younger students and their peers in attendance that night. They all showed great leadership qualities that they’ve continued to develop throughout the year.
Another big project that the Student Council is working on is the Penny Harvest. We had a fundraiser earlier in the year, where each class collected pennies to go to a charity of their choice. The Student Council members announced the fundraiser to all of the classes and kept track of all of the pennies collected. They collected a total of $625. Each class voted, and decided to donate it to a charity that helps with childhood illnesses. The student council members are now getting to choose three charity organizations to interview. Once they complete the interviews, they will get to choose which one or ones they want to donate the money to. All of the members have shown a tremendous passion for this project. They are very eager to donate all of the money collected to a great cause.
I really enjoy serving with the College View Student Council. I have seen each of them grow and develop their talents throughout the year and it has been amazing. Also, several of them have come out of their shells and gained a lot of confidence. They have also learned a lot about working as team. They have each worked so hard and shown great leadership qualities. They amaze me more and more each day.
I believe that getting students involved in their own school and nurturing their talents is what has greatly improved not only their behavior, but their attendance as well. It is so fulfilling to see students enjoying school and being able to look back at each event at the end of the day and be proud of the job they have done by using their talents. So far, they have built up quite a resume. They have helped coordinate 7 events and have raised over $1,500 for the school. I believe that I have made an impact on their lives and helped them develop some of their talents; I know they have definitely made an impact on mine. I am so grateful be a part of the Denver Public Schools AmeriCorps Program and to serve at College View Elementary. I hope that the students that participate in the Student Council in the years to come enjoy it like these students have as well.
– Vicky Moran, Denver Public Schools AmeriCorps Student Engagement Advocate at College View Elementary