As an MLA, I have worked with parents, educators, students and community partners to create an education system we can all be proud of.
And over the years, I have learned that some of the best ideas come from the students themselves. When you take a moment to speak with youth about their school experience you find that they are poised, thoughtful and confident. Their unique perspective allows them to bring new and exciting ideas to the discussion.
This past December I had the pleasure of meeting with some bright young students at Windsor School who have come together to form the Student Voice Committee. This group empowers student involvement, providing students with a platform to problem solve and work with the administration on ways to make their school an even better place to be and learn.
The committee was born last year when a group of Grade 8 students returned from the Louis Riel School Division Healthy Choices Conference with the innovative idea. They now meet every Thursday at lunchtime with Mme. Bradshaw as their supervisor and guide.
So far the students have brought several issues to the school’s attention, including an odour and missing hooks in the gym change rooms. The school took notice and quickly fixed both issues. This initiative is giving youth a greater voice in the school and has greatly improved communication between staff and students.
This past month the committee collected gently used or new outdoor accessories such as scarves, mitts and hats that were hung from Christmas trees in the school’s front lobby. The items were shared with children and adults who needed added warmth this winter.
In a short time the Student Voice Committee has made a real difference at Windsor School, and it’s impossible to tell exactly where their determination will take them next. The group is hard at work planning more ambitious projects, including teaming up with another school in a Brick by Brick campaign that would seek to raise $10,000 to build a new school for a community in need.
I want to congratulate all the students involved for being leaders in their school. Your enthusiasm and dedication is inspiring. If you would like to learn more about the Student Voice Committee, please contact my office at 204-237-7771. We would also be happy to share with you some great ideas for celebrating I Love to Read Month with your children this February!