MUSCATINE — The Student Leadership Team, fifth graders from Madison Elementary, delivered 693 donated books to Franklin Elementary in Moline on Tuesday. The trip was the culmination of a project one month in the making.
“They begin with an idea and then we work to see it through to completion, to see if we can make a difference,” said Dana Carlson, a co-leader with Madison Student Leadership Team.
The idea students chose was to do a project that would help the students of Franklin Elementary. As WQAD reported, fire caused $400,000 in damage. According to Carlson, that damage left students at Franklin without a usable school library.
“A third grade teacher in Madison has a relative that attends Franklin Elementary in Moline," Carlson said. "She made (the Student Leadership Team) aware of the fire that had happened. Just an idea to prompt them."
Students wanted to help. Their first idea, a school supply drive, was voted down as too costly. In the end, the book drive was picked.
"A lot of people have a book at home that they have read and no longer need," Carlson said. "We didn't want this to be a cost issue for the Madison families but so many people have a book that they are done reading and can part with so we encouraged kids to not make it something that was going to be financially (burdensome) for Madison students. The book idea was quickly accepted and everything else just began to fly."
“(We are) letting them take the lead and giving them the responsibility and helping them identify the things that need to get done and assisting them in leading towards a goal that they have and helping them become leaders in the process,” Carlson said.
Stephanie Zillig, principal of Madison Elementary, said that even with the semester winding down, the Student Leadership Team is not done. They've already raised $201 for additional seating on their playground.
"The students drive what service projects we do as a school," Zillig said. "This one sort of rose to the top for them."
"The Student Leadership Team at Madison is about caring for others, modeling that caring for others and trying to be a model for the students at Madison to help make the world a better place," Carlson said.