StuCo to host leadership camp for elementary school students

Stephanee Smith, Staff Writer

For the first time ever, Student Congress will host a leadership camp for students from third to fifth grade. The camp will be held on Feb. 22 from 9:30 am to 12 pm in the cafeteria.

Although the chairpeople of the unity committee, junior Caroline Gaggini and senior Alex Kravchenko, were the main organizers of the event, they received many ideas from members of their committee.

“Our committee has helped with ideas ranging from different types of games to activities,” Gaggini said. “My hope is that it will become an annual thing and if it goes well, I believe it should be an annual thing. Our purpose, really, is to get leaders ready for the middle school, junior high and high school level, so it’s all of the elementary schools feeding into Plano participating.” 

In elementary school it is a big honor because kids run [for office] in their classrooms, so the kids are very, very excited about doing it.”

— Junior Caroline Gaggini

The camp’s participants consist of four students from each elementary feeder school who have been nominated for outstanding leadership. According to Gaggini, she was inspired to help organize the camp by her own experiences with Student Congress in elementary school.

“When I was in Student Congress in elementary school, I remember being very excited about it and I think I would have liked the opportunity to go meet kids in Student Congress and get more information about it,” Gaggini said. “In elementary school it is a big honor because kids run [for office] in their classrooms, so the kids are very, very excited about doing it.”

Junior Student Congress member Allie Yoder volunteered to be a part of the camp and said she was excited for the opportunity given to the younger audience.

“My first opinion of the leadership camp is that it’s be a great opportunity to impact younger kids in a positive way and to show them how awesome Plano is,” Yoder said. “I’m most looking forward to learning about the kids and teaching them how to lead and make a difference.”

Yoder has been involved in Student Congress since middle school and wants to encourage younger students to stick with the organization.

“I’m hoping to help the kids grow in leadership and to further understand how to be an effective leader,” Yoder said.

The format of the camp consists on two speeches, one given by senior class president Samer Amous about teamwork and cooperation and the other given by junior class president Ryan Dusek about confidence. The elementary students will then play games and be part of small groups with senior and junior members of Student Congress to discuss leadership opportunities in their elementary school.

“Working with kids is something I love to do and I want to give them leadership skills and confidence so that they will take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to them,” Gaggini said.