WILLOW BEND ELEMENTARY STUDENT COUNCIL PAYS IT FORWARD TO CAMPUS LIBRARY

Each year, the Willow Bend Student Council hosts campus-wide events, organizes dress up days, and prepares treat bags for purchase in order to raise money to give back to their campus. This year the council has raised around $7,000 to continue their giving initiative.
“This year we had a Winter Wonderland Carnival in December, and a family game night when we came back after Christmas break,” Willow Bend Student Council President Mia Adams said. “We had games and food trucks, so it was a fun night for everyone.”
Adams explained that in addition to events, they also prepared goody bags that students could purchase in order to help raise money for their giving initiative.
“Every year we give a donation to somewhere in the school,” Adams said. “This year we decided to give back to our library because we know that a lot of books aren’t cared for. Kids will let their pets get them, or they will get them wet, and just don’t take great care of them. We know library books can be pretty expensive, so we thought we would give some of our money to the library to replace damaged books.”
Willow Bend Elementary Media Specialist Darby Pilgrim said when she walked into her library and saw the student council members holding up their sign, she was overwhelmed with happiness.
“All of my student council kids were here waiting for me with a sign, balloons, flowers, and money to buy new books for the library,” Pilgrim said. “They told me that they recognized that we work hard in the library and that a lot of our books will go missing or get damaged and it is not always easy to replace them. They wanted to make sure they we had the money to do that.”
Pilgrim said that the $500 will likely purchase around 25 to 30 replacement books that her regular budget wouldn’t typically be able to cover. She said it is a big deal because it opens the door to bring new, ‘trendy’ books with her regular budget.
“I love giving back to the school, because I have been here my whole life,” Adams said. “It feels really good to give something back to our school because of all the things they have done for us. It is just a token of appreciation for us to give back.”

Willow Bend Student Council Sponsor Elisa Gonzales said her student council decided the library needed these funds all on their own. They even talked about the added bonus that it is National School Library Month! She explained that in addition to the library gift, they have many other ideas for the remainder of the school year.
“Every year our student council elects to do a school gift, something they can leave behind as their ‘legacy,'” Gonzales said. “Last year, the student council purchased dictionaries for the school, and we even saw a need for more, so they have already purchased more dictionaries this year so each department can have new ones. We also have teacher appreciation week coming up and they have some fun ideas in store for our campus. We will be talking in our next meeting to see what other additional gifts they will want to do with the funds left.”
In addition to their yearly giving initiative, the Willow Bend Student Council awards Frenship High School Seniors with the Willow Bend Teacher and Student Council Scholarship, a scholarship that is awarded to a graduating Frenship High School senior that was once a Willow Bend student. The council also participates in several volunteer opportunities around their community.
“We will have our final volunteer service coming up in May, most likely with Upland Mission,” Gonzales said. “We will also be donating additional blankets to the Children’s Advocacy Center. We donated some back in December but have since gone back and purchased more.”
Gonzales said she and her council will continue their mission to give back in the years to come, “I am so proud of all our members and their willingness to always go the extra mile.”
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