Elementary Student Council

You have just been asked to be the teacher sponsor of your elementary school's student council. But you have no idea what you are doing. Where do you start? When will you meet? What do elementary student councils do? Once upon a time, I was in those shoes. Don't worry. I learned it's easy to get started and the whole goal is to engage the students in learning leadership and service to their school and community. 

What does an Elementary Student Council do?

The school's student council will provide students with learning opportunities in leadership, service, teamwork, and school spirit. An elementary student council helps its school with organizing special projects, events and fundraising. The students, with the guidance of their sponsor,  can plan fun events like school carnivals, pep rallies, and special assemblies. They can raise money to beautify the campus, add to the playground, or put picnic tables in the schoolyard.  Student Councils can also provide service to the community. They do this through food drives, winter coat and blanket drives, nursing home visits, Toys for Tots and local community beach or park clean-ups. In elementary school, the student council faculty or staff sponsor will take much of the lead in the events and activities of the group. But, as the students meet throughout the year they learn lessons in leadership and teamwork that will help them achieve success. The hope is that they will continue to have an interest and participate in student council when they get to middle and high school.

Student Council Meetings

When I led our school's student council we would regularly meet once a month. Our elementary council included two students from each class in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. The class voted on the two members they wanted to represent them on the student council.  You can gather your students this way or open it up to anyone who is interested in joining can be on the council. At our first meeting of the year,  I would have the students do an icebreaker activity so they could get to know each other. They would then brainstorm ideas of projects they could do based on needs of the school, students or community. After selecting the goals for the year, we would put them on a yearlong calendar. Each monthly meeting would address the project or event that is scheduled and would also have a leadership or teamwork lesson that I would lead. Sometimes additional meetings would need to be scheduled so students could complete tasks to meet the goal. 

Student Council Officers

Student Council Officer positions can vary from school to school or district to district. In most student councils you would have a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Some Student Councils also include officers such as Historian or Parliamentarian. Officers come from the council membership but we had the entire student body in 3rd-5th grade elect them. They ran a campaign where they put up posters around the school and made a speech over morning announcements the week before the election. My student council had a President who led the meetings and worked closely with me to plan and prepare for them. The Vice President assisted us and took over as leader when the president was unavailable. We had a Secretary who would write out our agendas and take notes during our meetings. The Treasurer would help me collect funds and count money during fund raising events. They would also keep simple records of the council's budget and funds. The officers would also be our school representatives to the district and our city. For example, when it was our school's turn to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the school board meeting, our President and Vice President were the students we sent.  These elementary aged officers were learning how to be leaders by experiencing some easy responsibilities in running the council. 

Service Projects

Our student council did at least one service project a year. Most of the time we did several. One project we always participated in was the community food drive around the holidays. The student council made posters to advertise the drive and put them up around school. Each classroom would make a decorated collection box to put outside their door and collect food from their class. There would be a contest for the most creative decorated box and the winning class would receive a popcorn party complements of the student council. There would also be a contest to see which class and grade level would bring in the most food. Student council members would be in charge of collecting and counting food from the boxes each Friday and helped deliver them to the community drop off location on our assigned day. The students loved helping their community each year during the holiday season with this food drive. 


In order for the student counsel to meet many of their goals they need to fundraise. Our council used funds for a variety of events: Classroom contest rewards, beautification of the school grounds, Easter egg hunt for neighboring head start program, Christmas Caroling field trip, Teacher Appreciation Week, and the end of year student council celebration. We had one main fund raiser that they did multiple times during the year. We sold Candy Grams. They were a big hit near all the major holidays at our school and we were able to raise all the money we needed. Visit this post to learn more about how to use Candy Grams as a fundraiser. 

School Spirit

Another thing our student council did was help promote school spirit. They worked with administrators to help plan spirit weeks on our campus. We had special dress up days during Red Ribbon Week, National Library Week, and Texas Public School's Week. They helped think of fun ideas to get everyone involved. Some of their favorites are crazy hair day, twin day, sports day and pajama day. The staff and students all like to participate in these days to show their school spirit. 

If your school does not have a student council it would be a great opportunity to talk to your administrator about starting one. Start small with just one or two projects and see how it will grow. You will always find a group of students who want to work to make the school and community a better place. 

Until Next Time....

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