Why do children participate?
Children are the primary motive for the Kids Council, as they possess the unique moral voice that is needed for future-proof decision-making. Children embody ‘the future’. According to the children themselves, as well as teachers and parents, participation offers many benefits. They feel they are taken seriously because they dialogue with decision-makers about important issues as equals. They are also encouraged in their personal development and can put their knowledge into practice. The children themselves determine most of what is researched and in doing so, receive support from their teacher. Participation provides opportunities for their own experiences, as the project appeals to their individual creativity and intellect. This has a highly motivating effect on every child.
How can children participate?
Schools at all levels participate. The schools currently participating in the programme want to help bring the outside world into the classroom. The school’s principal and teacher determine the exact composition of the Kids Council, which usually consists of 5th or 6th graders. There have also been a few successful Kids Council groups with children from the 4th grade and 7th grade.
The teacher provides the children with guidance, with the support of a representative of the Kids Council team.
We are always looking for new schools and children! Do you and your class want to be part of a Kids Council? Click here to fill out the contact form.
What does participation involve?
During the school year, the selected group/class follows the six steps of the Kids Council process. The amount of effort (time and content) varies and depends on the step of the process. Children analyze the dilemma and organization and come up with perspectives, solutions and concrete ideas, which they then present to the organization and discuss with the Board of Directors or management. Children always receive detailed feedback on what the organization plans to do with their recommendations. They understand that not everything can be implemented. The fact that adults truly listen to them and that they receive feedback on reasons to implement their ideas or not is a source of great satisfaction for the children.
Which children are currently participating?
At this moment, there are several schools that have formed a Kids Council. Click here for a list of our partner schools.
“I think that when I have to solve problems later in life, I will look back on the Kids Council and think: how did I do it back then?”
“I have learned to work together with children who I thought had totally different ideas than mine.”
“We prove that we have bigger ideas, that we can make a change, and that we really have something to say. The Kids Council opens doors because it lets us ask questions to real and big organizations, even though we’re still young. They may use our ideas for, who knows, maybe a hundred years. Because the Kids Council gave us that chance!”