Student councils in elementary schools have many benefits. Through a council, you can teach your students about community service, civics and government in a student-friendly environment outside of their normal course work. Students also have the advantage of being agents for change in their schools and communities by being a part of student council, with their contributions often felt around the school long after they have moved on.
One of the most rewarding activities for an elementary student council to participate in is a canned food drive. All communities are in need of support for their disadvantaged members and canned food drives are a great way to help. Student council members encourage all students to bring in non-perishable food items. Council members then collect and count the cans and arrange for their pick-up. Many schools make it a competition between classes to increase the students' participation.
Student councils can raise money for school improvement projects or to donate to charitable organizations. Ways of raising money could include a school store that sells school supplies, a weekly snack table, special event days such as Hat Day where students and faculty pay to wear hats, or bake sales or craft sales. Some fundraising activities require upfront costs while others require no startup money at all, so have a plan before you get started.
The greatest advantage of being involved in student council is the ability to plan school spirit days. In planning with the principal, student councils arrange for special days, weekly or monthly, where staff and students come together in an act of school spirit. Examples of school spirit days include: hat day, wacky hair day, pajama day, decades day, twins day, sports day or inside-out day. The idea is to have fun and get everyone involved.
School Legacy Projects
Student councils have the ability to leave lasting impressions on their schools through legacy projects. Legacy projects are gifts left behind that benefit the school as a whole. Examples of legacy projects include: arranging for a mural to be painted in the school gym, planting a tree, starting a bird habitat or installing park benches on the playground. Student councils use money from fundraisers or donations from the public to complete these projects. The idea is to choose projects that will survive over time.
Danny Waldo started writing professionally in 2011, covering topics in education and sports. His writing has appeared on various websites, including BleacherReport.com. Waldo holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Montana State University-Bozeman and a Master of Science in education from Walden University.