Brainerd High School, Brainerd, Minnesota
The project linked students from Brainerd High School with students at Lincoln Elementary School to assist students with reading, vocabulary and grammar. High school students were nominated by their English teachers or were members of the National Honor Society. This program proved very successful and will expand next year to include an additional elementary school.
Cambridge-Isanti High School, Isanti, Minnesota
“Homework Helpers”: This project involved helping elementary students with their homework. High school volunteers went to local elementary and middle schools after school to assist students. One high school student organized 13-15 student helpers who worked with over 20 elementary students twice a week. In addition to helping with homework, the student purchased additional learning tools such as flash cards to improve the elementary students' overall abilities.
Des Moines North High School, Des Moines, Iowa
“Reading Leaders”: Three of the five elementary schools with the lowest reading scores in Iowa feed into North High School. This program helped address this issue by having students from North High School go to these elementary schools and read to - as well as read with - the students. The project leader also worked with the school district's reading specialist to properly train student volunteers.
Fairmont High School, Fairmont, Minnesota
“CPR Anytime”: Borrowing a concept from the American Heart Association program, the project leader created a project that helped students and families learn how to perform CPR. The project leader purchased ten CPR kits that will help teach CPR to high school juniors enrolled in Health 11. Students were required to take the kits home and teach their parents and siblings the necessary skills to perform CPR. The project leader oversaw the program and provided additional free local instruction at the community center.
Link Unlimited High School, Chicago, Illinois
“SMILE”: Saving Millions in Loving Efforts (SMILE) was designed to help spread the news about cancer including its causes, prevention, and symptoms. It also included fundraising activities to help raise money for cancer research, such as the “Relay for Life.” Individuals involved participated in local events that brought together people who are supporting the cause. Additionally, students visited and delivered care baskets to patients both young and old to show that they are not alone in their battle against cancer.
Litchfield High School, Litchfield, Minnesota
The project goal was to instill life-long skills in elementary students by teaching them that volunteering is a great way to give back to the community. Two students worked with a fourth grade class at a local elementary school and each month chose a theme and a project to teach the benefits of volunteering. It is never too early to teach the benefits of volunteering and making a positive difference in the community. Monthly activities included visiting nursing homes, writing letters to soldiers in Iraq, a recycling project and a food drive.
Loyola High School, Mankato, Minnesota
“Kids Against Hunger, KAH”: The project leader created an organization that raises money to help feed needy children. He organized volunteers to help work hotdog stands throughout the summer and has set up an aluminum can collection site at the local Hyvee grocery store to help raise money. In addition, he asked local parishes if they would allow aluminum can collections every two to three months to help benefit KAH. The goal this year is to raise over $2,000. The project leader is also working with a group of volunteers to help package meals on Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving.
Millard North High School, Omaha, Nebraska
“Pots for Patients”: This project was designed to help bring joy to the lives of the patients at Children's Hospital in Omaha by providing them with individual pots, seeds and soil, and helping them start to grow their own plant. The project leader organized a group of volunteers that work with the children in decorating their pots and in providing instructions on how to care for their plants.
Washburn High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
“GO” Great Opportunities: The project helped set up a network between the graduating class of seniors and Washburn alumni currently in college. Alumni were contacted and asked to host senior students on their college visit. The goal was to provide the current students with a “real” college experience. An additional aspect of Great Opportunities was to host an Alumni Panel Night at Washburn where individual students return to campus and answer questions about academics, time management, clubs, organizations and sports.
McDonell High School, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
The project leader designed a tutoring program that reached out to all middle school and high school students. The hope was to provide students in need with a different perspective on what they are learning - they might be able to better understand the subject material if it is coming from one of their peers. Juniors and seniors were eligible to be tutors after going through a selection process and are then matched up with a student in the area of the tutor's specialization. Besides helping students in their academic efforts, the project served as a way to help create bonds between the two levels of students.
Providence Academy, Plymouth, Minnesota
“Lion's Club”: The project leader created a new program called the Lion's Club to provide an opportunity for middle school students to interact outside of school and outside of their normal social groups. Groups of high school students served as leaders each night. The program ran after school from 3:15 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., and activities included a group game followed by a movie and board games, pizza and Bible study. The nights were based on a single theme, such as friendship. This format drove the message home from many different angles.
Robeson High School, Chicago, Illinois
“Guiding Our Freshmen”: The project leader started this positive mentoring program in hopes of guiding the next generation toward a better tomorrow. Chicago public school students face many adversities as they begin high school and it is critical that they start out their academic careers on a positive note. This program stressed the importance of education by helping the student develop successful study strategies through tutoring, mentoring and direct communication with the student about their needs. There were a number of activities planned, including a trip to a local college and a tour featuring the history of the city of Chicago.
Von Stueben High School, Chicago, Illinois
“A Day for the Majors”: Each year Von Stueben High School puts together a college fair that allows recruiters to advertise their colleges. People who have been out of college for a long period of time present to the students. In providing these opportunities, the school has tried to make college more imaginable by presenting the beginning and the end of the college experience. The project leader thought that the one piece the school was missing was the middle piece, the actual time at college. In response, she has created a “Day for the Majors” to add to the existing programs. This project brought current college students, representing all general majors, to Von Stueben to talk about their area of study and about how to be successful at the college level.
Watertown-Meyer High School, Watertown, Minnesota
The goals of this project were to beautify the grounds of the Elim Nursing Home, to provide activities for the residents, and to establish lasting friendships and connections between the student volunteers and the residents. In beautifying the grounds, the project leader sought the input of residents as to the type of flower beds and plants they would like to see and smell. Additionally, students did general landscaping and created and participated in intergenerational activities with the residents.
Southland High School, Adams, Minnesota
The project leader started a chapter of Mu Alpha Theta at Southland. The addition of this organization allowed accomplished math students the opportunity to be recognized for their mathematical scholarship and provided an opportunity for those who struggle in math to receive peer-tutoring by these members. This project also promoted various mathematical activities at Southland, including math competitions.
Omaha North High School, Omaha, Nebraska
The project established an after-school tutoring program for Fullerton Elementary School students lead by volunteers from North High School. The program ran from late September until April. Small groups of students were tutored in any subject area and were rewarded with small incentives for their hard work. Volunteers also designed study sheets to help aid the learning process along with conducting sample class lectures.
Proctor High School, Proctor, Minnesota
The goal of this project was to inspire Proctor High School students and residents of Proctor to take more pride in celebrating their school and community. To accomplish this goal the project leader created a positive advertising campaign to sell “Proctor Pride” items. T-Shirts, decals, bumper stickers and other items were affordable and helped create more civic pride. Monies from the sale of these items were used to create scholarships for students and to help maintain the program.
Proctor High School, Proctor, Minnesota
“Senior Mentors”: This project helped ease the transition of middle school students into high school by utilizing senior mentors. The program began by providing help during ninth-grade orientation and conducting fun, team-building activities with the incoming freshman class. In addition, the mentors gave short talks on what to expect in high school, gave tours and served an ice-cream social. Each senior mentor was assigned 20 freshmen and met with them at least once a month. Seniors were trained in assertiveness, confidentiality, decision making and conflict mediation.
Oshkosh Lourdes High School, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
The project leader created a “guide booklet” that was given to current and incoming students at Lourdes. This booklet was both informative and testimonial in nature. Students, teachers, administrators and parents were given opportunities to comment on a variety of subjects ranging from school rules to a particular teaching philosophy. The goal was to allow a parent or student the chance to get to know Lourdes High School before they began the Lourdes experience.
St. Patrick High School, Chicago, Illinois
The project leader created and implemented a mentoring program to directly benefit and act as a support group for in-coming students from the San Miguel schools. San Miguel students face a difficult adjustment, coming from a small community of 100 students to the St. Patrick community of over 1,000. The goal was to help tutor these students with their academic work, but also to offer friendship and camaraderie through athletics and after-school get-togethers. This program benefited these young San Miguel students and also benefited the older students as they learned to serve and be positive leaders.
Roncalli High School, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
The core objective was to provide an enjoyable, educational, affirming workshop experience for children with physical and mental challenges. A secondary objective was to engage high school seniors, as peer counselors in the workshop, to broaden their views, understanding and appreciation for people with different lifestyles, challenges and limitations. The project included extensive training of the peer counselors, comprehensive application forms for counselors and workshop participants, and numerous planned activities for the workshop.
Roncalli High School, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
A leadership and service project, modeled after the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program, served as an outreach from teenagers to senior citizens. Named S.T.A.R. (Senior Citizen Time and Awareness Recognition), the project sought to provide high school seniors with increased awareness and appreciation of the collective experience and knowledge of senior citizens (especially those with no local family members) and to provide the senior citizens with much-appreciated companionship and conversation at least once a month throughout the school year. A training process and handbook was provided for the teen participants, and partnerships between local parishes, senior centers and assisted living facilities have been established.
Winona Senior High School, Winona, Minnesota
As is the case in numerous school districts, budgetary restraints have resulted in the elimination of the Drama Club and presentations of dramatic plays at Winona Senior High School. The project was to establish a Drama Club and present a dramatic play. The project served to demonstrate what students can accomplish on their own by coming together to achieve a common objective.
Hudson High School, Hudson, Wisconsin
In collaboration with the staff of Hudson High School, local police and attorneys, and a cadre of motivated students, this project established a Teen Court at Hudson High School. In this Teen Court, high school students function as attorneys, bailiffs, jurors and occasionally as the judge. Defendants are young people who have been arrested by the police but choose to forego sentencing at the municipal court and instead face review and sentencing by their peers. Cases tried before the Teen Court included first-time, non-violent offenses such as curfew violation, possession of small amounts of marijuana or alcohol, non-felonious vandalism, etc. Sentences included restitution, community service and apology letters. Teen Courts across the country indicate a recidivism rate of only 13 percent.
Holy Family Catholic High School, Chanhassen, Minnesota
A group of student volunteers from Holy Family performed renovation and landscape work at a local adult care center and formed an organization that provides day care services for senior citizens. Some volunteers interacted with the senior citizens in a series of activities while the ohters performed physical labor.
Omaha North High School, Omaha Nebraska
In an effort to expose elementary students to the numerous aspects of the theater, a week-long day camp was offered to neighborhood children. This project utilized members of the Omaha North Drama Club to serve as teachers and role models, and to help the children participate in a stage performance. Topics covered in the camp included: acting and line delivery, playwriting and improvisation, technical basics and staging, choreography and music.
Brainerd High School, Nisswa, Minnesota
The transition from elementary to high school is challenging. A particular source of stress and anxiety for ninth graders is the suddenly heightened expectation to complete large amounts of homework assignments. This program enlisted high-achieving juniors and seniors who served as counselors, guides, mentors and advisors for freshman students who are finding the transition to high school especially difficult. The entire project was conducted under the supervision of teachers.
Mankato Loyola High School, North Mankato, Minnesota
This innovative project involved coordination and cooperation among a network of participants including: Minnesota State University-Mankato, the YMCA, CADA (Committee Against Domestic Abuse) House, numerous Mankato-based corporations, and disadvantaged youth and their parents. Mankato State University, local businesses and season ticket holders were asked to donate sporting event tickets to local economically disadvantaged students and their families.
St. Charles High School, St. Charles, Minnesota
This project developed a ‘date rape awareness' health fair in collaboration with a peer education group known as Teen Council. The fair covered three school districts and included print materials, a video and an extensive survey.
Von Stueben High School, Chicago, Illinois
Two athletes at Von Stueben High School developed a program to train at least two students for each of their school's athletic teams as certified CPR technicians. They designed an extensive and comprehensive schedule of classes and enlisted Red Cross-approved trainers. When they satisfied their quota objective for CPR techs, they expanded their program to include other aspects of First Aid training.
Washburn High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The project involved forming a volunteer group at Washburn that provided servant leadership to the community. Members participated in fund-raising activities throughout the Twin Cities, providing local organizations with much needed assistance. In addition, students organized many fundraising activities at the high school to purchase books for their library.
Cambridge-Isanti High School, Cambridge, Minnesota
A student created a program called P.A.L.S (People Assisting Local Seniors). Simple and straightforward in concept, the program provided a resource pool of teenagers who performed chores for local seniors upon request.
Rushford-Peterson High School, Rushford, Minnesota
Two students developed a project taught Spanish language and culture classes to third and fourth graders. Classes were held twice a week for one hour for a three-month period. From their own experiences, they concluded that delaying exposure to Spanish until ninth grade is too late to achieve fluency.
Oshkosh Lourdes High School, Butte des Mortes, Wisconsin
This project complemented the academic offerings at Lourdes High School with a “life skills” course addressing ten areas: interpersonal communication skills, character development, health, manners and etiquette, safety, personal finances, first aid, outdoor life, home and auto maintenance, and personal management and organization. Five to ten minutes of each school day, usually in homeroom, were set aside for life skill instruction.
Xavier High School
“Big Brother/Sister”: High school students were matched with kids who have disabilities. High school students formed a group willing to serve as a friend for a younger girl or boy who has a disability. Students met on a monthly basis with their friend and played games, watched movies or just talked. All students were trained before they participated. Some other activities included going to sporting events together, doing arts and crafts, and attending special holiday activities.
Rushford-Peterson High School
“Interactive Reading”: The project exposed 5th grade students to reading literacy and composition through the use of computers. Students read books and found a favorite one. Afterward, using a computer program, they re-created the story in an interactive storybook. Students then had the opportunity to write their own story, complete with original illustrations. The project leader also had a number of underclassmen working with him so that the project could be continued.
Manitowoc Roncalli High School
“Friendship Program”: This project is divided into three sessions that dealt with common issues experienced by middle-school students: building healthy relationships, resisting peer pressure and easing the high school transition. The high-school students traveled to local middle schools and junior high schools to conduct workshops for the eighth-grade students at three times during the school year. These workshops included skits, testimonials, role playing, surveys and small group discussions. The program was so successful that it will now be included in Roncalli's recruitment program.
Winona Senior High School
“Save the WSHS Library”: The project was designed to enhance the learning experience of students, promote reading for all ages and restore the Winona Senior High School (WSHS) library. The first phase of the project involved informing the students and public about the project, making available a drop box and starting a book drive. The second phase involved designing an annual book fair. The third stage expanded on the existing “Read Across America,” which occurs on Dr. Suess' birthday, as National Honor Society students went to area elementary schools to read to the students.
Mankato Loyola High School
“Adopt an Angel”: This project connected elementary school students with the School Sisters of Notre Dame. It allowed the MACS community and students a chance to give back to the sisters for their years of service. The project leader worked with 3rd grade students to provide art projects, birthday surprises and holiday specials to the sisters. She also helped educate the students about the history of the sisters and how they have influenced Catholic education in the Mankato area.
Richland Center High School
“Healthy Choices”: The project focused on educating middle-school students on exercise and eating right. The three goals of the program were education, involvement and motivation. Workshops were set up to discuss nutrition, exercise and involving students in fun activities. The project leader also collected gifts and prizes for a raffle at the workshop. The program was coordinated with the State of Wisconsin's and the Governor's physical education program. In addition, the project worked with the school district to provide healthy choices in school vending machines and was instrumental in having the current machines changed.
Hudson High School
“Building a Volunteer Organization”: This purpose of this project was to form a volunteer group at Hudson High School that can provide support for organizations and individuals within the community. It was also a prelude to a service-learning program being developed at the school. The group worked on a variety of outside events, such as the Relay for Life, the Red Cross and the Christian Community Home. Students involved also worked with the high school during service work. The project leader provided coordination, leadership and management to the group.
Cotter High School
“Warming up Winona”: This project organized a drive to collect winter clothing for different organizations within the Winona area. Items such as hats, mittens, socks and coats were donated to different service organizations including Grace Place, Volunteer Services and the Dan Corcoran House. The project included working with Cotter High School and several parishes.
St. Charles High School
“Starvation Around the World”: The high school connected with a village in Liberia, Africa, through the help of a local priest. The project involved a variety of fund raising activities that raise awareness and money for the village. Activities such as food and clothing drives were organized as well as activities to help raise money. The project's goal was to make a real connection with a village and establish a link between the village and the community of St. Charles.
Woodbury High School
“Enhancing Local Relationships”: The project enhances the relationship between Woodbury High School and its neighbor, the Woodbury Health Care Center. The first part of the project involved making sure that the grounds around the school were clean. This presented a more attractive environment for the school and the individuals using the health care facility. The second part of the project centered on establishing opportunities for students to visit and interact with the residents at the center. Among the activities planned were socials in the Fall and Spring, and arts and crafts projects.
Hibbing High School
“School Newspaper”: This project centered on creating a school newspaper as a way of promoting school spirit and bringing students closer together. Students published a monthly newspaper talking about issues important at Hibbing High School. The newspaper allowed students interested in writing the opportunity to express themselves as well as another opportunity to get involved. The project was coordinated with the administration and the English department.
Arcadia High School
“Nutrition Education”: This project centered on the theme of educating elementary school children about healthy eating choices and the basics of nutrition. The project leader, in connection with third grade teachers, taught the students about food and the value of nutrition. It also explored educating students about the value of farming and animals in their community.