Students at St. John XXIII Catholic School are part of a unique student council that incorporates student voice into all aspects of their school community.
Student council at St. John XXIII Catholic School has five positions – Prime Minister, Deputy Minister, Environment Minister, Health and Wellness Minister and Social Justice Minister and numerous class reps.
Environment Minister, Madison, has worked on a significant project this year- applying for a grant and buying a water fountain that counts the amount of water bottles that are saved by using the water fountain with a re-useable bottle. Madison also works on the school's eco-team to make the school more eco-friendly.
The Health and Wellness Minister, Sean, is working to ensure that each class at St. John XXIII Catholic School has a healthy lunch. If a student does have a healthy lunch- with all four food groups- they receive a ballet and are entered into a draw for the chance to win a gift certificate.
The Social Justice Minister, April, has also had a busy year, working to have a buddy bench placed in the primary yard. April was able to have supplies donated and the supplies are currently at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School where students will build the bench and return it to St. John XXIII Catholic School. April says she hopes the bench will be back for the end of May. A buddy bench is placed in a school yard and when a student is in need of a friend or someone to play with, the idea is that they will sit on the bench and fellow students will join.
The Prime Minister, Conor and the Deputy Minister, Ben help these ministers in whatever they need to achieve their goals, such as help with fundraising.
The class representatives attend student council meetings and report back to their classes with updates on projects and ideas.
These students are doing amazing work for their school, but it didn't come easily. For each of the positions mentioned, students had to run for the position and campaign. Students were involved in a week of campaigning in the fall, where they made posters, presented speeches at a school assembly and worked extremely hard to showcase why they were the best candidate for the job.
St. John XXIII students went through a formal voting process after hearing speeches for each position.
The student council says having these positions means one person can focus on one task that they are interested in, while receiving help from other students. The members say that this is a great opportunity for student voice and that other students are now coming to them with ideas, showcasing student voice even more.
With the school year coming to an end, these student council members still have a lengthy list of tasks. Members say they hope to have more spirit days for fundraising and hope to reach out to the local community. The group hopes to visit a local retirement home, the humane society and help out at the food bank.