October is a very exciting time for students in the fifth grade, as the Student Council — one of the cornerstones of the fifth grade experience — kicks into high gear. At the start of each year, we hold elections for a variety of Council positions. The students write and present persuasive speeches in hopes of being elected to the particular position they want. Each of our candidates this year spoke clearly and articulately and exhibited a great deal of poise. The students were creative and expressive as they campaigned. I was so impressed by how well spoken, original, and imaginative each candidate was during his or her presentation. Students communicated their strengths and abilities, focusing on leadership, organizational skills, empathy and kindness, and on their desire to promote a climate of community service, school spirit and a love of learning.
As the year moves forward, the Student Council will work with students from other grades — providing them with opportunities to share ideas about potential projects. This year’s Council has voted to work on at least two projects. First, the students will be raising money for new computers for the Hebrew Day School Media Center. Second, they will be working with the VA Hospital to help veterans. In these ways, the Student Council experience allows our students to practice democracy in action and to support the school and the community.