Sean Thompson

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Sean Thompson

Mt. Carmel Elementary

One of our greatest accomplishments that has been completely student-lead and truly reflects the connectivity and capability of our students involves the redesign of our school courtyard. Last year, we held school elections for a Student Council that consisted of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. Following their election, we had our first brainstorming session and what resonated to me the most was how aware our students were of both school and community needs, and how willing and eager they were to start problem solving as a collaborative of students on issues inside the school and out. One area that they decided to tackle was our courtyard leading to our school playground, which consisted of dead shrubs and straw that was both unsightly and slightly depressing. We linked them up with Russell Camp from our wonderful Facilities and Maintenance Department, who assisted them with the blueprint design of the students' ideas and graciously provided all of the plants and materials to the school without additional charge to our organization. The students researched and selected plants and materials, and also decided the use and purpose of the newly designed space for other students and teachers at Mt. Carmel Elementary to use in the future. In addition, they helped to organize and provide support for charitable fundraising efforts, like a Pink Out event for Cancer prevention and also helped with promoting and marketing events within the school. The collaborative sessions that I had with this group was a true personal awakening to the limitless potential in all of our students, and served as a reminder that students at all levels possess the capability to organize and implement positive change in our school and our community.