At the last council meeting of June for the City of Clovis, the City Council honored another council, the Student Council of Tarpey Elementary for their achievements. Officially, the Student Council received the Civic Learning Award of Excellence from the Judicial Branch of California.
This award was the most prestigious award out of three categories presented to each of the three levels of Elementary, Middle, and High Schools throughout the State of California. Three other schools in CUSD- Garfield Elementary, Woods Elementary, and Red Bank Elementary- also received Awards of Merit, an award presented to twenty different schools throughout the state.
The Award of Excellence presented to Tarpey Elementary was also received by two schools from Orange County. This award was presented to the school because of the civic events and political practices that the Student Council of Tarpey Elementary undertook. Most of the ideas came from Tarpey students themselves according to former Student Council Program Advisor and creator of the Student Council at Tarpey, Dee Dee Jett.
Jett, who started the program seventeen years ago said, “In the beginning it was really like ‘What do you guys wanna do?’ And it was like ‘Well, we wanna do something for 9/11’ and I would say ‘Okay! Let’s call the fire department and see’.” Jett explained that she as well as other advisors like current Student Council Advisor Katy Hunter would merely act as mediators between the students and public entities. “My role and I think Katy’s role was to assist the students and what they wanted to do.”
Jett explained, “I feel like it’s important for kids to learn how to be of service..I thought that was one thing our kids could really benefit from, was learning about service.”
Current Student Council Advisor Katy Hunter explained that the kids on the student council worked on a 9/11 memorial, worked on gift baskets for the police and fire departments, in addition to writing letters to veterans, working on a food drive, and participation in a “kids day”.
According to Hunter, being able to be connected to the community helps the students in more ways than one. “I think it makes a big impact on them, especially at their age. There’s not a lot of opportunity for children to get involved in the community. So school’s one of the only ways, especially for kiddos in our area for Tarpey, so having the opportunity to really get involved with government, the community, make that outreach and have a big impact not only on the school but the community as a whole is really impactful I think.”
Principal Tachua Vue of Tarpey Elementary illustrated, “These kids worked so hard that this just validates the work they’ve been doing…Most of all it was about them serving and giving back to the community.”
Tarpey Elementary certainly turned some heads if anything at least in the eyes of the City Council as they saw fit to honor them with a Presentation of Proclamation.
But not only did the school impress government at the local level, but at the state level as well. Being honored with the Civic Learning Award shows the relation between CUSD schools and the State Government, in favor and likeliness of a strong detail to their students.