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ILCS student advisory council builds community

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The youth of today become the adults of tomorrow. We need to invest in the future and create strong young minds that can think outside the box to learn, develop and to help out our communities.

At my daughter’s school, Island Lakes Community School, children can make a difference by participating in the ILCS student advisory council. It is a wonderful experience that keeps them in touch with needs of their fellow classmates, their school and their community.

I contacted Darcy Cormack, principal at ILCS to find out what the students have planned for the 2013-2014 school year.

Cormack, who helps guide ILCS student advisory council in addressing problems and finding solutions, said their goals are to have their ideas and interests expressed throughout their school.

The ILCS student advisory council was started in 2011 and is open to all students in Grades 6-8. This year, the council has 100 participating students to its roster.

With so many eager students wanting to contribute, I asked Cormack how often the group meets.

"The student advisory council is organized into three groups — CAT (community action team), FUN (enhancing student activities and equipment in the school) and school-wide assemblies. Each group meets once every few weeks or as needed, depending on what they are working on at the time," Cormack said.

Cormack said the kids brought up a varied group of topics to tackle this year.

"Students are interested in contributing to our local community, they are interested in expanding the extra-curricular clubs that we offer, purchasing ping pong and foosball tables for middle years students to use during indoor recess and spreading anti-bullying messages through creating a culture of kindness," Cormack explained.

The CAT group is currently leading the Pennies from Louis Riel School Division campaign, which involved a school-wide assembly group. The FUN group held a special pancake lunch on Dec. 2 to raise funds for the indoor recess equipment and, as a result of their activities this fall, they will be able to purchase these items prior to winter break.  There will also be a school-wide assembly with the theme of generosity and service  

Finally, I asked Cormack what she felt the student advisory council teaches our kids.

"Last year, I received some great feedback from one of our graduating student advisory members, who said that having the opportunity to show her my leadership skills to lead the student advisory council made her a stronger and more confident person, and that those skills would then help her with her future career in knowing that she believed she could do almost anything that she tried," Cormack said.

Jasmine van Gerwen is a community correspondent for Island Lakes. She can be reached at jasvangerwen@shaw.ca

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