Smart:Stand Out at School
How to Run for School Office!
Do you find yourself thinking, I-could-do-that-better,
a lot? Do you want to do things, not just talk about them? Do you
like staying active? Are you enthusiastic? Are you always solving other
kids problems? Do you have the guts to ask your fellow students to vote
for you?" If you said yes to any of these, then run for school office!
How to Run for a School Office
Fast Track Campaign Strategy
- Find out what student officers do. Read the job
description before you run for president.
- Like to organize things? Be the Activities Commissioner.
Dig sports? Sports Commission!
- Want a say in how your school is run? Become the
School Board Student Representative.
- Pick the office you want.
- Now, create your Campaign Platform. That's what
you stand for.
- You must answer the question: how will school be
different when I'm (fill in your office)?
- How will it be better for students?
- Check out what's on students minds at your school.
What do they think needs change?
Sample Campaign Platforms
- Students come in all shapes and sizes. For equal
access for all students, Vote for Dahlia!
- Need new gym equipment? Jump in and vote for Jocelyn.
- Take risks. But not with your safety. For a safe
school, vote for Tydell.
- Be more. Get more. Vote for Tina Moore.
Getting It Together
Now do you have an idea for a campaign message? Be
sure not to make promises you can't keep. Don't say "Escape School at
Lunch" if you can't make good on that promise. The next step is to go
get allies, or helpers. Campaigning is work. You need student support.
And family support. Don't be afraid to ask your friends, neighbors, family
and anyone you know for help.
Save some trauma-tip: Don't ask your best friend
to run your campaign. It will look like you're starting cliques. You run
it. Have all your friends help. Be tough: If you can't get six kids to
be on your campaign staff and promise to work, don't run yet. Another
choice is to serve on some committees and let kids see that you are a
leader. Find a teacher who will advise you but stay neutral. Graphics
and arts teachers are great friends to make. So is the drama or speech
and debate coach at your school.
Make a Powerful Play
Head for to the school Student Activities office.
Get the forms you need. What rules does the school have on campaigning?
Do they have rules about size and number of posters? Or amount of money
you can spend? Lots of schools have restrictions because often, the student
who spends the most money buying everyone pizza will win. That's because
the kids feel obligated.
Want to see a great campaign at work? Head to Tobacco Free Kids.
Therey have great ideas.. there's a cool button, activities to do like
the Art Contest and Kick Butts Day, and celebrity spokeskids like Ben
Savage and Larisa Oleynik. Spice it up with free poster giveaways, and
you've got a great campaign. So how do you get this kind of attention?
- Make up a catchy flyer that tells students about
you and your ideas.
- Make up a fun button.
- Pick colors that are your colors, so kids identify
those colors with you.
- Try to go to club meetings.
- Give out your flyer and try to get the support
of club presidents.
- Go to sports practices and do the same thing.
- Have a table and give out flyers when kids are
coming to school.
- Attach your flyer to something kids like that's
cheap like a pencil or eraser.
- Take surveys. Ask students what they want that's
different. Meet every kid and tell them their opinion counts with you.
- Find the kids who ran for office last year. Talk
to them. What worked and what didn't work when they campaigned?
Work It for Votes
Have a lunch bench party to "press the flesh." (That
means shake hands and meet kids.) Invite club leaders for cookies, or
candy. Call around and get some free entertainment for your event. There
are lots of musical groups, magicians and clowns that will work for free
because they like kids. Is there a local sports hero, kids book writer
or star? Invite them. (Check with your school first!) You'll really stand
out and prove your ability to get things done.
Then, stand up before the entertainment, welcome everyone
and tell them what you will do if they elect you. Make it short. Get back
to the party. This is also a good way to rehearse your speech.
Writing Your Speech
Tips from speech writing kids:
- Don't even think of "winging" it. That never works.
- Tell them who you are, what office you are running
- Say something about what you believe in and why
they should vote for you.
- Tell them what you'll do to make your school a
better place for kids.
- Keep it short. Make it fun and funny.
- Ask them for the job.
- Look over your speech to see if it is persuasive.
- Read the paper and get ideas from advertisers.
- Say things like....I'm the candidate you've been
waiting for...Don't settle for second best.
- Don't forget to say thank you at the end.
Giving Your Speech
- Don't try to memorize your speech. But practice
it a lot before the rally.
- Give a copy to your friend, just in case you lose
- Bring a copy with you.
- Dress for success. Look your best when you go up.
- Wear your campaign colors.
- Scared? It's okay. Take deep breaths. No matter
what, just do it.
- Look at the whole student body before you start
- Know your speech so well that you know exactly
what to say.
- Be confident and enthusiastic.
- Don't just read. Look up every once in a while.
Make eye contact.
- Don't rush it!
- Do something unexpected in the middle, like a
- Or you could bring a prop. Like a top hat and cane.
- But don't drop it, or trip, or do anything too
weird. No one will forget it.
- Don't bring housepets or anything live as props.
Everyone will pay attention to that and not you.
- Have a sense of humor. Don't be totally boring.
- Short is really, really good. Short and to the
point is best.
- Don't forget to say thanks.
Online Speech Writing resources.
Remind the kids to vote for you the day before. Put
out a fresh flyer if you have time. Think about what you will do if you
win or lose. Practice it in your mind. Whatever happens, don't forget
to thank the adults and kids who helped you with the election. Don't be
all mad and upset if you lose. Kids will be watching to see what you do.
Be cool and congratulate your opponent. If you win, smile and say thank
you. Thank your staff. Invite the losers to be part of your team. They're
leaders too. Together you can make a real difference.
Tips for New ASB (Associated Student Body) Officers
Did you win? Great! You have a whole new set of challenges.
Now you get to do the things you promised. Be the leader you promised
to be! Listen carefully to all students when they talk to you. Be a bridge
builder. Bring lots of kids into your circle. Don't let the ASB turn into
a clique. Stand up for kids who get teased or made fun of. You'll win
a lot of respect and kids will vote for you next year!
Tips for Next Time: Get Ready Now!
Didn't win? There's always next year! Don't wait,
get ready now. Volunteer to be the assistant to one of the people who
won. Do it right away, don't wait! You can also just work on every student
activity you can. That will give you experience. And kids will get to
know you. Then you can put the promises in your speech to work.
This section was written with advice from: Emily,
Lisa, Erin, Roxanne, Tera, Lorissa, Kendra, Veronica, Katelyn, Jamila,
Kela, Susan and Erica
Do it if you like to tell other people what to do.
(lol!) - Melodee..m
First thing I have to say is you have to make a creative poster. Get a neon
colored one or a blank poster with bright paint or the kind with borders.
Speeches are really simple reading, but you might get nervous so just relax.
The more you (practice) the better chance you will win! In your speech say
something funny or interesting. Keep it under one to two minutes. If you
don't do this you'll bore people and all this work you do will not work.
Remember be friendly and be nice to your voters. If you give them a hard
time you will lose a voter. - Caitlyn.c
Running for school office is easy! You just need to
be brave and confident and work hard on your speech! I have been in student
council for two years and this time I am going to try to be the secretary.
-- later, Jessie.d
Dealing with students: If you are in a bad mood and
someone comes up to talk to you, just say in a nice way, "Please come
back in five minutes because I am in a bad mood. --Karyn T., South Africa
Don't be too competitive or bossy in projects. Being
too competitive in school can often hurt the friend factor.-Constance.
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