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Students Leaders in Action at Oaks Road Academy

By: Kimberly Scott, Assistant Principal Oaks Road Academy

 

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines a leader as a person who has commanding authority or influence. If you were to be asked, who do you think the leaders are at an elementary school, what would be your response?  Many of you might respond with the Principal or Assistant Principal.  You might even respond with teachers and support staff.  At Oaks Road Academy, we have another important group of leaders -- our students! 

Our vision proudly states that at Oaks Road Academy, we exist to provide the educational foundation for all students for success in College, Careers, and Citizenship.  One way that we provide the educational foundation for all students for success in college, careers, and citizenship is by growing our students as leaders.  Beginning in Fall 2018, we restructured our Student Council to provide our students with additional opportunities to develop leadership skills, student agency and engage students in the work of our school.  The Oaks Road Academy Student Council is comprised of students in third, fourth and fifth grade. Student Council members are elected by their peers and are held to a higher standard than other students.  These leaders must be in good academic and behavioral standing.  They serve as role models for their classmates and the school at large.

Student Council members meet regularly with their advisor, school counselor Mrs. Fields. Together they have conversations about what makes Oaks Road a great place to learn, what can be done to make it even better and how they can best serve their classmates and the Oaks Road community.

In the few short months that we have been in school, the Student Council has worked diligently to build a positive culture and climate in our school building.  In October, the Student Council organized a Spirit Week to highlight Red Ribbon Week.  Red Ribbon Week is sponsored by the National Family Partnership to inspire families and communities to live healthy drug-free lives.  Each day during Spirit Week, the Student Council created a theme and activity for the school to participate in.  They selected items to give to each grade level to remind them to live healthy drug-free lives.  Throughout the week, the Student Council also partnered with Religious Community Services (RCS) to collect canned goods and non-perishable food items.
            During a recent visit from Leadership Craven, our Student Council members served as tour guides. As they led their tours, they spoke eloquently about what makes ORA the best school!  They shared their aspirations for the future.  They shared their dreams to go to Ivy League universities. What was most impressive though, was the group of 5th grade boys who stopped to assist a kindergarten class while they toured that room.  They recognized that the teacher could use an extra hand and jumped right in!  That is leadership in action! 

            As the year has progressed, the team has engaged in additional activities to build community at ORA.  As an AVID elementary school, we have an innate focus on preparing students for college, careers and life!  The Student Council created a “universitree” in our foyer.  A “universitree” is a tree of learning that spotlights colleges around the country to encourage the college going mindset.

  Our Student Council members recognize the great responsibility they have as leaders in our school.  Here is what a few leaders have to say about their leadership position:
“To me student council is an opportunity to excel as a leader and improve me and my peers community and school. Student council is a big responsibility. I think you should take it seriously and stay focused. I believe in good grades and awesome homeroom behavior. I try my best to a leader and not a follower. Even though I may not always do my best I strive for the next day to be better. This is an awesome opportunity and I will do everything in my power to make my school better. We are all young leaders and need to set a good example for the next to come.” - Zhiyon F.

“Student council means to me to make ORA better, assists in spirit week, be good and help ORA make better choices and help teachers know that students are tardy by the rulers that have positive messages and make people be kind and have a discussion about things that are right.” - Sanaria H.