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Students eager to help care for school

Written on December 6th, 2007

Students at Halton Hills Christian Schools want to help out. That was clear this past fall when about 90 per cent of those who were eligible applied to join one of the school’s 24 student leadership groups.

Each group is responsible for a different school task, from recycling to morning announcements to caring for computers and projectors to setting up the auditorium for assemblies.

Vice-principal George Cook says the level of interest is exciting to see.

“Some kids apply for seven or eight teams. They want to do everything,” he says.

Cook adds he’s been inspired to see how students take the initiative once they are on these groups.

He recalls times when as the lead of the sound equipment group, he’s gone in search of his group to help set up the auditorium and they’re already there with the job done.

“Students feel the freedom. They don’t have to be asked. They (say), ‘this is my area of responsibility,’ and they take it seriously and go out and do it.”

Parents have also said they like the idea of these groups, which require students to apply for them, go through an interview and then sign a commitment slip that they will hold true to what’s been asked of them.

“Parents like that because they see it as good training for the job process down the road — applying, doing the interview and signing a contract. It’s a good experience for them,” says Cook.

The larger vision for the groups is to create a space for students to practice working within their team for the good of the school as a whole, to learn that their collaboration with team members and participating in these tasks helps make the school a better place.

Cook suggests the positive school culture is one reason for the high level of interest amongst student to get involved.

“But I think kids in general are drawn to being involved, to contributing,” he adds, noting doing so likely fosters a sense of ownership for the school.

Looking to the future, the school is planning to tweak its overall organization of the groups. Cook says they may also look to some of the older students to take on leadership roles within the groups, which are currently headed up by teachers. More groups may also be added, as needs arise.