Host families are being sought for teens who will participate in the Missouri Association of Student Councils State Convention to be held in March at Washington High School.

To help keep the costs down, local families are being asked to host three to six students for three days, March 14-16.

Two Washington High School Student Council leaders updated the school board Nov. 28 on its planning efforts to host the state convention here in 2013.

Taylor Straatmann, Student Council president, said more than 800 high school students, representing over 200 high schools from across the state, are expected to participate. Students will spend the three days learning about leadership and Student Council.

Students will listen to national speakers and participate in workshops on motivation, school spirit, communication and other topics.

The convention theme is “From Country Roads to City Lights, STUCO Unites!”

“We’re excited to show off our community and school,” Straatmann told the school board. “Being selected to host is equivalent to winning a state championship in sports.”

Washington High School also was selected to host in 2001.

Straatmann said the convention is expected to have an economic impact of about $500,000 with adult advisers staying in local hotels, and both advisers and students eating and shopping here.

Planning is going well, she told the board, but housing for the students is a critical component.

“We can’t stress that enough,” Straatmann said. “We have secured housing for about 200 students but we need much more.”

Host families will be responsible for providing visiting students a place to sleep and feeding them breakfast each morning.

“Students will arrive Thursday night and it would be nice to have snacks for them and then breakfast on Friday and Saturday,” she said.

Forms for families interested in hosting can be found at the district office, the high school and on the school district’s website.

Funding for the convention will come from this year’s convention fee of $75 per person as well as donations from local businesses.

Business sponosors are still being sought, said Aaron Meyer, Student Council officer.

Businesses are being contacted for monetary donations and items that could be given away during the convention.

“Our goal is to raise $20,000,” he said, adding food costs are high to feed the large number of students and advisers.