On May 11, 2016, the Calgary Educational Partnerships Foundation presented a cheque to staff and students of Carseland School in support of their Student Leadership Team, and their initiatives. The idea of creating a Student Leadership Team came about due to the inherent values that the students of Carseland School possess. The students demonstrate attitudes and behaviors conducive to supporting local and global citizenship initiatives, and really do live up to the school’s motto of being "The Small School with the Very Big Heart." As a result, the school has signed up to be a WE School and plans are underway to get the Student Leadership Team up and running in the fall of 2016.
The students of Carseland School organized and participated in several local and global citizenship initiatives throughout the 2015- 2016 school year. It was through their participation in the initiatives such as those described below that the idea of creating a Student Leadership Team came about.
Through a global citizenship initiative, Change for Change, the students raised funds to purchase a goat, two chickens, and a rooster from the World Vision catalogue. The students collected loose change and held a cookie fundraiser in order to purchase animals which provide families in need with an ongoing source of income, food, and health. The students surpassed their fundraising goal by a significant amount, and were eager for a family in need to receive their animal gifts from the World Vision catalogue. Through information obtained from a variety sources, including a World Vision representative who attended a school assembly, the students recognized the importance of taking part in global initiatives.
At the local level, the students in the grade 5-6 class have been immersed in a community garden project since September. To date, the students have investigated the benefits of a community garden, mapped out their ideas for an ideal garden, written letters to community groups in an effort to acquire funds, presented their ideas at a school council meeting, met with local volunteers to discuss the building process, and are finalizing plans for a work bee. Throughout the process, the student’s passion towards undertaking a local project of this capacity has been unwavering. They have displayed critical thinking skills throughout the process, and have exemplified what it means to work collaboratively with others in order to see a project of this nature come to life. It will only be a short time now until the school and wider community can all enjoy the many benefits that a community garden has to offer.
It is through such initiatives as the Change for Change fundraiser and the Community Garden Project that the students have demonstrated attitudes and behaviors that the staff would like to capitalize on; hence, the creation of a Student Leadership Team. While the team itself has yet to be officially established, students have taken part in some important first steps. The first step entailed signing up to be a WE School. As a WE School, the students will receive support from the WE School Program as they take action on local and global
issues that they are passionate about. Support entails gaining access to physical and digital curriculum resources and motivational outreach speeches and workshops. In early spring, students who are likely going to comprise the Student Leadership Team took part in an Action Planning Workshop to learn more about the first steps in identifying local and global citizenship project ideas. The energy in the room during the workshop was high, and the students are eager to form the team and take the necessary steps to fulfill their commitments as a WE School.
The funds received from the CALGARY EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS FOUNDATION will enable the student leadership members to take part in WE’s Leadership Programs that are based on their transformative process they call "Theory of Change". Not only will members be encouraged to explore issues that they are passionate about, but the programs have the potential to foster the development of transferable skills that inspire confidence and empower the students to become leaders both within the school, and the larger school community. The funds will also provide them with the monetary support needed to get some of their project ideas up and running.
"Leadership is a characteristic that cannot be undervalued in our society. The Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation is very proud to be funding Carseland School’s program" Says CEPF President & CEO Din Ladak.
Further information regarding the Carseland Student Leadership Team and their local and global citizenship endeavors can be acquired by contacting Miss. Seabroook at firstname.lastname@example.org.