At Bennett, "BIONIC" Team works to make students feel welcome at school

When you’re at Bennett Elementary School, you don’t have to look very hard to spot the handy work of students dedicated to making their school a welcoming place for everyone.

There are the decorative cellophane “Buddy Bags” full of goodies to make new students feel at home in their new digs, school-wide sing-a-longs, and spirit days for students to show off their Bennett Pride.

Bennett BIONIC Team group photo

The team behind these careful acts of kindness is known as the Believe It Or Not I Care Student Leadership Team, or BIONIC for short. Its students recently received the César Chávez Student Organization award at CSU’s El Centro Cesar Chavez Community Celebration, along with student groups from Boltz Middle School and Wellington Middle School.

“The kids are really enjoying it, and I’m so proud of all the kids in here for making a better place,” said Stacey Souders, gifted & talented coordinator at Bennett.

BIONIC’s activities are far-ranging. The team has organized food drives, encouraged students to include other kids at recess, and planned spirit days for the school. The buddy bags assembled by the team include an eraser (to let students know it’s OK to make mistakes), a pencil (to represent learning), and Smarties (for obvious reasons).

If you ask the students on the team which activity they are most proud of, they’ll almost all have a different answer.

For fourth grader Ashley Artlip, it was the food drive for Meals on Wheels, for fifth grader Emily Sherpa it was dressing up for spirit activities, and for fourth grader Kacy Larson, it was making the “Buddy Bags” to welcome new students.

“I think (the team) would help welcome them in the best ways we can,” fourth grader Kacy Larson said.