Park Avenue wins NAESP American Student Council Association School of Excellence Award


Park Avenue wins NAESP American Student Council Association School of Excellence Award

May 5, 2022

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has awarded Park Avenue Elementary School its American Student Council Association (ASCA) School of Excellence Award for the 2021–2022 school year.

This award recognizes outstanding achievements in community service, student leadership, citizenship, and school spirit. To be considered for the ASCA Award, the Student Council was required to submit an overview of the projects they completed this year, along with letters of recommendation from their school principal and Student Council president.

In his letter, Park Avenue Principal Bill Biniaris wrote, “Our school’s Student Council has worked tirelessly to demonstrate its commitment to community service, the cultivation of student leadership skills, overall citizenship and stewardship, as well as fostering school spirit.”

Principal Biniaris highlighted several of the Student Council’s projects, including Park Avenue’s Veteran’s Day ceremony, which he called “one of the most impressive Veteran’s Day efforts I have ever seen. Despite many logistical challenges related to the pandemic, the students and their advisor rallied the entire student body to commemorate this important holiday.”

He also shared how impressed he was by the students’ dedication to their weekly meetings.

“These begin far in advance of the official start of the school day. Students are observed running out of their parents’ vehicles to quickly enter our building to join their friends and wonderful advisor, Amy Buliung, as they prepare to engage in their hard, yet important, work. Each time I see this enthusiasm I know they have earned the right to be recognized as a Student Council of Excellence!”

The Student Council includes 12 fourth grade students who meet twice weekly throughout the school year to plan and organize school and community service and leadership projects.

“We typically work on three projects: fall, winter, and spring, [but] this year our projects grew into much larger projects or multiple projects, which we had so much fun planning,” explained Student Council President Leah Scalo.

The Council’s fall projects included the Homecoming Parade, the Veteran’s Day celebration, and two projects to honor local veterans: Wreaths Across America, in which they raised over $1,100 to purchase holiday wreaths for the Veterans Memorial Cemetery, and Trees of Heroes, in which they created and hung memorial ornaments for veterans at the Goshen cemetery. For the Council’s winter project, they learned how to make fleece knot blankets, which were donated to local childrens’ hospitals, and they also collected donations of toys, craft supplies, birthday decorations, and more to create “birthday boxes” to lift the spirits of children who are in the hospital during their birthdays. Finally, this spring, the Council worked together to build an outdoor free library and collect book donations in a project that will make free books accessible year-round to the entire Warwick community.

Student Council Advisor Amy Buliung, who has worked with Student Council members throughout the year on their projects, said, “I have witnessed, both in the classroom and through our school’s service projects, these students grow into amazing student leaders. As they approach the end of their elementary school years I am confident they will continue to model the pillars of our organization—community service, student leadership, citizenship, and school spirit—and be outstanding leaders in the years to come.”

Ms. Buliung and her students extend their thanks to the entire school community for their support and dedication, which enabled the Park Avenue Student Council to achieve this honor.


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