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Josie Shaffer - STUDENT BOARD MEMBER
Report to the Board of Education of Baltimore County From the Student Member of the Board

Student Board Member

Student Member of the Board Message
Student Member of the Board Message
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November 7, 2017

Good evening and happy Tuesday!

I would like to congratulate all 113,000 students for a successful first quarter! The second quarter is a good time to further define yourself as a student and continue to stay active in your community.

I am so proud of Franklin, Gunpowder, Lyons Mills, New Town, Seven Oaks, Summit Park, and elementary schools for volunteering with Kids Helping Hopkins to make 360 Build-a-Bears for children in the hospital. Staying involved in your community is a great way to learn outside of the classroom, and I can't wait to see more student activism as we continue through the year!! 

Two weeks ago, I spent three days with over 100 student leaders at Baltimore County Student Council's (BCSC) annual Fall Leadership Camp. This was a unique opportunity for student governments to discuss the "Mystery of the LeaderShip," and meet other SGA (student government association) members than those in their schools. Even though I was stung by a bee within the first 30 minutes we arrived, I had so much fun getting to know a diverse group of students who were passionate about increasing student leadership in their schools and the county. Not only were the three days packed with fun activities, Fall Camp allowed students to get out of their comfort zones and learn about teamwork and communication skills. I would like to thank BCSC President Jake Turner, our advisor Mrs. Murray, and the 20 incredible student staff members for hosting a successful Fall Camp! 

I also was able to visit the Cockeysville PAL (Police Athletic League) on October 18 to learn about the after school meal program. I would like to thank Ms. Panowitz, Ms. Shulman, Mr. Roddy, and the volunteers at the afterschool meal center for showing me the process of meal preparation and distribution. This is an important program for our 52,177 students eligible for free and reduced-price meals, and I was surprised to learn that only 2% of eligible students participate in this program. The afterschool meal programs encounter barriers when trying to expand the program into more communities because of extremely strict regulations including requiring a sink to wash dishes when all items besides serving spoons are disposable. Meals arrive on site ready to serve, but sites cannot serve meals 25 yards away from a kitchen. I encourage board members and community leaders to tour the afterschool meal facilities to see the professionalism in preparing meals and help bring this necessary program into more communities who need it.  

Finally, I am very excited to start "Lunch Bunch" school visits with BCSC President Jake Turner. This event is designed for a productive conversation about school climate and culture and helps Jake and I learn about individual school needs. We will be visiting Franklin High School on November 15, and I cannot wait to visit more schools in the future.  

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