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LIVINGSTON, NJ — Members of the Livingston Board of Education (LBOE) and Superintendent Dr. Matthew Block welcomed the student council presidents and vice presidents of all six elementary schools to Monday’s meeting, where the students presented examples of how their schools are creating a sense of community.

Block noted that these exercises were in line with one of this year’s board goal, which was to create an inclusive environment within each school.

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“One of the many things I have been so impressed with since I have been here is that the true purpose of that goal is to build identity and build a sense of community within our schools,” said Block.

Representing the elementary school principals, Harrison School Principal Cynthia Healy kicked off the program by explaining that the schools were “highlighting student council as that bridge between the adults in the building and the rest of the student population.” 

She remarked that during each presentation, the students would talk about the programs being implemented at their individual schools with the collective goal of fostering a sense of independence, developing leadership skills, exhibiting kindness toward one another and lending a hand to those less fortunate.

Healy also noted that staff advisors work with each of the student councils throughout the year.

The children were accompanied by their school mascots as they spoke about the various initiatives at their schools. Some examples of programs included: “Caught Being Kind,” student peer leadership and remediation programs, school picnics, Chalk Talk, walk-a-thons, collecting for the local food pantries, safety patrols, Golden Spatula contests, pep rallies, “Hands to Give Me 5,” buddy groups and learning to accept, respect and learn about each other in meaningful ways.

At the conclusion of the student presentations, Livingston Public Schools Communications Coordinator Michelle Bent played a video she created that incorporated photos of all six elementary schools participating in these various activities.