by Kevin White, Secretary and Executive Officer, Colonial Middle School Student Council
In previous years, the Winter Dance was just another Friday event to get out of the house. The few students who purchased tickets would come in small groups and socialize in the small confines of the Front Light court for two hours. This year, with a new group of Student Council Officers and a vision for success, the Student Council recreated the Winter Dance.
Making improvements to a substantial event like the Winter Dance could not be done in hours or days; it would take time. The first improvement, and maybe the most beneficial improvement, was the name. It was decided by the Student Council Officers to reestablish the Winter Dance as a Winter Social to promote the friendly aspect of the event. Without the pressure to dance or bring a date, students would be more likely to get involved. We then started the promotion stage of the Winter Social.
As a group of officers, we decided "The Social" would be most successful with student input. An online survey (Google Form) was quickly put together to ask students what theme they would prefer at the Social. Four options for themes were provided: Sports, Jungle, Winter and Space. Using our school wide email platform, the survey was sent out to students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades instantly. The responses came flooding in. The Winter theme prevailed with a total of 51.9% of the student body in favor. Success was already showing.
Colonial Middle School has a wide variety of technology, and the Student Council wasted no time taking advantage of every device and program we could use to promote our Winter Social. Television screens mounted in all of the hallways were displaying images encouraging kids to come and bring their friends to our great winter event. Students would be reminded during their lunch and at the end of each school day to purchase a ticket for "The Social" at a sensational price of only $5.
In order to attract the most customers possible, more changes would need to be made. Once again, as a group of executive officers, we put our heads together. We found that in years past, the Front Light Court was small and not a superior place to hold a school "Social." Our conclusions were to hold the event in the gymnasium and divide the gym into halves. On one side of the gym, the DJ would be set up and students would be able to dance, on the other side there would be tables for kids to sit down and socialize. The format allowed students to choose what they wanted to participate in, by granting this freedom to the students more money came in.
In-school ticket sales closed on January 25th and later that day, preparation for the night's festivities began. With the help of our dedicated CMS staff and Student Council members, decorations were assembled and arranged in the lobby and the gymnasium. An area where kids could take pictures with their phones was constructed with props and a stunning backdrop. Check-in and snack tables were in place and the DJ was ready to go. Almost all of the integral elements of the 2019 Winter Social had never been done or used at any school event before.
At 7:00 pm on January 25th, the front doors of Colonial Middle School opened and crowds of 6th, 7th and 8th graders streamed into the lobby. Such an extensive number of students arrived that check-in lines ran outside of the building. A live online game that could be played on phones was generating excitement in the gym and the DJ was starting the night off with music. The 2019 Winter Social, the most successful winter dance ever hosted at Colonial Middle School, gathered about one-third of the schools population in the gym for a fun night. The CMS Student Council had just set a new precedent for all students and Student Council officers to come.