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LEBANON JUNCTION - Thinking of others has been the mantra of the Lebanon Junction Elementary School student council.
“It gives me a good feeling to help others,” said Student Council President and fifth grade student Jay Flener.
He and fellow officers Savanna Slawson (vice president), Brooke Bolin (secretary), Alyssa Hayes (treasurer) and Rylee Whitt (parliamentarian) were elected by their peers.
This is the first time LJES has had a student council. Sponsors are kindergarten teacher Sarah Frey and Family Resource Center Coordinator Tammy Perdew.
“It’s exciting because we get to do neat projects,” Brooke said. “I liked the coin drive.”
The student council spoke to each class and encouraged kids to bring in extra change.
“All of the money was donated to charity,” Frey said adding the total collection exceeded $750.
“That’s quite a bit of money for a coin drive,” she smiled.
“I had fun bringing in my dimes, nickels and quarters because I knew it was helping someone in need,” Brooke said.
For the holidays, the student council settled on a canned food drive. Once again, the student officers canvassed classes seeking donations and they were not disappointed.
“Every day we counted cans and the number kept getting larger,” Jay said. “Pretty soon we had more cans than we knew what to do with.”
Savanna said she enjoyed watching students bring in plastic bags filled with cans.
“It made me feel good that my friends wanted to help out needy families at Christmas,” she said.
The student council activity became so busy Perdew said parents delivered students to school before 8 a.m. on many days.
“These kids have the greatest parents,” she said.
Student council members said the flurry of donations kept them busy but they were still able to stay caught up in their lessons.
“Our teachers are really nice and supportive,” Alyssa said. “I look forward to coming to school so I can help out with the council and then go to class.”
LJES students brought in just fewer than 1,000 cans which were distributed to the city of Lebanon Junction for distribution in holiday baskets as well as to the Dare to Care food bank.
Returning from winter break, Jay and his Mom thought a good January project was a coat drive.
“Mom has worked with St. Joseph’s Children’s Home and asked if we would be interested in a coat drive,” Jay said.
He proposed the idea to fellow council members and they agreed.
During just one school week, LJES students brought in over 181 winter coats of all sizes and colors.
“I like the green ones the best,” Rylee said. “They stand out more.”
Frey and Perdew praised Jay and the student council for such an initiative.
“They took the idea and ran with it and look what it produced,” Frey said. “It was a huge success and I am so proud of the Student Council members, especially Jay for putting this on!”
“We just thought it was a neat way to keep kids warm in winter,” Jay said.
The next student council project is underway. They are selling candy grams for Valentine’s Day.
“They have really focused on what is popular on a seasonal basis,” Sarah said. “I feel this has contributed to the success of the student council.”
She and Perdew said the response to their efforts has been amazing.
“This is an awesome school and community,” Perdew said. “Everyone really does look out for one another.”
Even students expressed surprise at the amount of work the council demands,
“It’s work but it’s also fun,” Brooke said.
Fifth graders Jay and Brooke are already encouraging fourth graders Savanna and Alyssa and third grader Rylee to keep the council going after they advance to middle school.
“I think it’s important because once you get something started, you don’t want to see it stop,” Jay said.
Savanna and her classmates said they will work to recruit new members to the council.
“It’s kind of neat to make a difference,” she said.
The only other elementary school council in Bullitt County Public Schools is at Mount Washington Elementary School. The sponsor is Stefanie Kleinholter.