My experience with Centennial’s school leaders says that kids today are engaged and motivated and that they are good at seeing problems and figuring out how to help address those problems. Centennial School has a culture of leadership. We encourage students to join leadership teams and then have teacher advisers guide those teams as they decide on the things that they would like to do for their community. I am struck by the impact that this group of leaders has already made this year!
Student Council focuses on activities that build school spirit. They worked independently and creatively to build an excellent Halloween haunted house for their peers to tour and then they did a good job of organizing our dance/movie/games room for Halloween fun. They also led our school's Remembrance Day ceremony. They planned a Movember moustache sale in support of Movember's battle against men's health issues and organized a Christmas Dress-Up Day to celebrate the season. They were also called upon to light the town Christmas tree at the end of November.
The Social Justice Committee focuses their efforts on raising awareness of social issues and leading us in learning and doing something about these issues. To that end, they recently led us in supporting the local Christmas hamper program. Earlier in the year, they did some learning about food banks and learned that food banks don’t like telling people what to donate and what not to donate because they are grateful for everything that they get. However, there are items that are in great demand and items that they really don’t need. The Social Justice Committee decided that it was important for them to provide the best and most useful support they could, so they came up with a new plan for scoring our We Scare Hunger initiative and they then led the school in collecting almost 600 pounds of the foods that our local food bank needs the most. They delivered that food and learned about the food bank. They learned when the lean times are for the food bank and are thinking about ways to provide support during those times. They also learned that the Food Bank sometimes needs more than just food and now they are discussing creating an initiative to collect toiletries or warm clothing or other things besides food that people need. Finally, they are in the early planning stages of a campaign to educate our local community about an issue that affects our citizens.
Our Green Team is our environmental group. They sorted over 11 000 plastic bags for remanufacturing this year. Their impact is bigger than that, though, because the Chamber of Commerce has agreed to team up with our Green Team to get plastic bag recycling bins set up in stores around the community! The goal of this multi-organization effort is to reduce, and eventually get rid of, single use plastic in our community.
Our Peace Makers and Green Playmates are our teams who help other students to solve playground problems. As of this writing, our Peace Makers have helped dozens of students to resolve playground conflicts and our Green Playmates have helped well over 100 students find someone to play with.
I am proud of the student leaders that we've got in this building! I see leadership, initiative, engagement, and problem-solving. These students are certainly creating a positive impact on their world!