Students show leadership through Lincoln CARES
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Whether it’s in the classroom, in the cafeteria, on the playground, in line for the bus, or out in the community, members of Lincoln CARES are always looking for ways to show leadership.

Lincoln CARES is a group comprised of two students from each classroom at Lincoln Elementary. The students are voted in by classmates based on speeches they give about why they would be a great leader both inside and outside the classroom. Formerly known as the Lincoln Pride Council, the group took on its new name last year to better-represent its values of Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy and Self-control.

“It gives kids an opportunity to show leadership not only in the classroom, but throughout the school,” fifth grade teacher and CARES advisor Damien Fox said. “It gives them the chance to build and spread school spirit, connect with others throughout the building and show responsibility.”

In the school, the group leads projects like Pennies for Patients, where every winter it spends two weeks raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Over the last decade the project has raised close to $15,000. The group also raises money through the Student Store, which is open once a month on Fridays.

Outside the classroom, Lincoln CARES visits Heritage House elder care where the students visit with residents, work on arts and crafts projects with them and participate in other activities like Bingo. When the students return to school they report back to their classmates about what they did and what they learned.

“It allows them to connect with a different generation, gain perspective and learn about some pretty cool people,” Fox said. “And the residents get to learn about today’s youth and what they’re interested in. It’s all about relationship building.”

The students started visiting Heritage House three years ago, led by Service Learning Coordinator Brian Coleman.

“That’s a layer we added,” Fox said. “Brian has been a great resource and was instrumental in organizing that. Our trips to Heritage House have been a great way of giving back and connecting with the community.”