Students find meaningful ways to give around the region, state and world
The 90 – yes 90! – members of the student council have a full agenda this year. They raise money, collect goods for special care packages, volunteer their time in school, run a school store, initiate contests and much more. “We have a very active student council,” said Lisa Owen, 5th grade teacher who organizes the council with fellow teacher Ellen Wozny. The school accepts student council members from every grade level but the representatives are from grades 4-5. “We don’t hold elections; all students are welcome,” said Owen. The 4th and 5th graders report back to the classrooms about their projects. Brook Forest Student Council members work at “The Fin” store before school. Monies raised go toward a charity or project of the Council’s choice.Over the holidays, the students were especially busy. They collected cereal and hot cocoa mix for the troops in November as part of Operation Care Package, held a mitten tree and toy drive for needy children in Chicago and collected unwanted Halloween candy and donated it to a woman’s shelter. In February, they collected gently used or new shoes for children in an Ukrainian orphanage and sought donations to mail the hundreds of shoes collected. They regularly staff and run the school store “The Fin” as a fundraiser. In addition, the group does hands-on work. They are planning their second trip to Feed My Starving Children to package meals for the poor in third world countries and they take time from lunch recess to work in the lunchroom to help the younger children in grades K-2. They also learn citizenship. They solicit designs for t-shirts for Exploremore Day and vote each year on where the council’s fundraising proceeds should go. Last year, they purchased Apple TV’s for Brook Forest classrooms.