Click here for the District's current e-newsletter.
Katonah-Lewisboro's elementary schools offer developmentally appropriate leadership opportunities for all students to practice confident communication and decision-making skills. Fifth graders have the most responsibility. They work with teachers and administrators to take turns hosting their school’s live morning broadcast, model safe behavior as Bus Rangers and Safety Patrol, and help shape and run all-school assemblies.
Three fifth graders arrived promptly at the Meadow Pond cafeteria just as kindergarteners were finishing lunch. They stood next to a long table outside the cafeteria which was set with valentines, crayons, and a little mailbox. On their way to recess, children stopped at the table and immediately began coloring the hearts. The older students explained that the valentines were special—they were for people who had served in the military—and helped the children write notes inside them.
“Thank you for keeping our country safe.”
“Thank you for your service.”
“Happy Valentine’s Day."
The fifth-grade helpers are Meadow Pond’s Student Ambassadors. Assisting younger children with Valentines for Vets is one of their many leadership roles at the school. They also help at special events, like escorting VIPs to Meadow Pond’s 50th Birthday Celebration, and contribute to shaping and running the school’s monthly Town Meetings.
Meadow Pond fifth graders apply to be a Student Ambassador by writing an essay about why they want to be a student leader. The applications are reviewed by the school’s Character Education committee which is comprised of teachers, the school psychologist and social worker, and Assistant Principal Dawn Pomeroy.
“We appoint two students from every 5th grade classroom,” said Amy Signore, a teacher on the Character Ed Committee. “They will serve either the fall/winter term or in the spring.
Student Leaders at Katonah Elementary School are responsible for various aspects of the school’s Sharing Assemblies.
“One small team of students emcees the monthly assembly and introduce the various participants,” said Assistant Principal Kweon Stambaugh. “Another team is responsible for coming up with a Mindfulness Moment to lead the rest of the student body through."
Other Student Leaders visit classrooms to share new school initiatives like Box Tops or Winter Attire for outdoor recess.
This month’s Sharing Assembly hosted the high school’s A World of Differences Club. Student Leaders visited K-4 classrooms beforehand to speak to the children about diversity.
Increase Miller Elementary School offers older students two leadership opportunities during their lunch and recess periods. They run the school store--helping younger students pick out items, using the cash register, and making change. They also volunteer in the school office--delivering things to classrooms, working on bulletin boards, and hanging posters.
Fifth graders also meet regularly with Assistant Principal Andrew Galotti to develop role-playing scenarios along the theme of “Stand Up, Step In, Speak Out” that they act out at monthly school assemblies.
“Another unique facet of student leadership at Increase Miller is called Homework Helpers,” said Galotti. “Fifth grade students volunteer in the afterschool program to help English Language Learners with homework, literacy skills, and basic English.”