Student Council Works to Make the School the Best It Can Be
By Mackenzie Casey
At Botelle School, the student council represents the school’s belief that students should be responsible, respectful, persevering, honest and good at collaborating with others. This council is made up of eight members of the 5th and 6th grades: Olivia Olsen, Ginny DeCerbo, Benjamin Crone, Elizabeth Burn, Rebecca Storm, Paige Dzenutis, Noah Green and Mackenzie Casey. To become a member, you write an essay and answer some questions about why you want to be on this council and how you will take advantage of the opportunity. The council members meet monthly, and their meetings consist of discussing how they are going to go forward with the character trait for that month and choosing which trait they will concentrate on the next month.
School principal Lauren Valentino advises the council. During their meetings, Valentino and the students review their last meeting to make sure they are all on the same page, and then make a plan to go forward with the idea they decided on in the previous gathering. Next, the students decide what they will do to make their campaign for that month’s trait successful.
The students get their ideas for campaigns from the Look for the Good Project, founded by Anne Kubitsky. Some campaigns are successful and some not as much. For example, the kindness cards (which are cards that students give to other students when they notice them doing something kind) were their first monthly campaign in the fall. The cards were such a big hit that instead of switching campaigns after a month the students decided to keep the cards and carry them on throughout all of their campaigns. They also have done a Gratitude Wall (students write something they are grateful for on a sticky note and stick it on the wall), but that wasn’t as big a success as the cards were.
As for the students’ future plans, they might send their Gratitude Wall to a place that could use it, such as a hospital. They are also thinking of an all-school recess or lunch period, so that students in the 5th and 6th grades could meet kids from pre-K and kindergarten. Another possibility would be an all-school project such as a mural. Furthermore, students on the council might do a community outreach project such as a visit to Meadowbrook or a food drive for our local food pantry.
It is clear that Botelle’s student council really is getting down to business with trying to make their school a kinder place to be. Their council is epitomized by this quote from Scott Belsky: “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”