GIRARD — Nearly 100 area students who have been “hired” as student ambassadors gathered for training at Greenbush Thursday.
The student ambassador program creates a leadership opportunity for elementary school students from third to fifth grades — although some schools implement it through sixth grade. Thursday, students attended three different sessions focusing on the traits of a good leader, team building and creating service projects.
“Student ambassadors help teachers with errands, assemblies and other activities depending on the school,” Greenbush Director of Student Enrichment Michael McCambridge said. “But mostly the job is to be an example for the class.”
McCambridge said student ambassadors set an example through their actions, and encourage other students to do the same.
“They set an example with their behavior, and also by identifying students who maybe aren’t as involved,” he said. “We know that two of the most terrifying or lonely places for some students are the playground and the cafeteria, so ambassadors find a way to get those children active and involved.”
Being an ambassador — or even applying to be one — also helps students prepare for the future. Students must fill out an application for the position, similar to a job application. They must list past leadership experiences, goals and the like. Students must also obtain a reference from one person on the school’s faculty or staff.
Students turn applications and references into their ambassador coordinator, and the coordinator hires those who best fit the role.
Pittsburg, Girard, Northeast, of Arma, and other area schools attended the training Thursday and brought their highest grade level ambassadors. The training will help these students be the best ambassadors possible, but also benefit younger ambassadors.
“They were given some items and activities to take back to their schools,” McCambridge said. “And at their next ambassador meeting, they will lead team building and leadership activities with the younger ambassadors, as well as passing on what they have learned.”
The students also used time at Greenbush to select a service project to complete at their school during their time as ambassador.
“The main goal is to get other students to want to serve as a student ambassador,” McCambridge said. “And so they see these students talking about what they did at Greenbush or working through their service project and want to be a part of that.”
Student ambassadors serve for one quarter and then new ambassadors are hired. When new ambassadors take over each quarter, they will attend the same training at Greenbush.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.