Several Wisconsin middle school student groups will have a unique opportunity to make their mark on their communities after being awarded Character Playbook Community Impact Grants from the Green Bay Packers and Brown County United Way.
Student groups, under the guidance of a Wisconsin school or nonprofit organization, were invited this fall to develop a service project to help their school, neighborhood or surrounding community. After the project proposals were submitted and reviewed, 11 group project ideas were selected to receive a grant.
Groups selected will receive grant awards up to $500 through funds from the NFL Volunteerism Grant or Brown County United Way to help fund implementation of the project. The projects receiving support include:
- Poynette Middle School will be putting on a 'Hope' Week, dedicating an entire week in January to suicide awareness, aiming to educate students about warning signs from their peers that might indicate they need assistance or may be struggling. They hope to bring light to the student body through various activities that bring attention to the topic.
- A group of students from Savanna Oaks Middle School in Fitchburg will be making a meal, snack or treat to offer to individuals in their community that deserve to be recognized, including nurses, police officers, assisted living support staff, animal rescue group volunteers, firefighters and many more who go above and beyond to help those in need in their community.
- Williams Bay Middle School student council members will create gift bags for teens currently residing in a local group home. Their aim is to provide the teens with items such as gift cards, journals, trinkets and toiletries. They also hope to have someone from the group home speak to Williams Bay students about the organization and how important the assistance is.
- Wisconsin Dells Middle School has made it a goal to restore the flower beds at the school. Throughout this project, they hope to teach students how to identify and grow plants, learn landscaping skills and develop strong work ethic. They also hope to one day be able to donate fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the beds to community members in need.
- To welcome new students, Elkhorn Area Middle School is taking initiative by making welcome kits for students who are transitioning into a new and unfamiliar environment. They aim to make the new students feel welcome and mitigate the anxiety that often accompanies transferring schools.
- Students from New Holstein Middle School are putting together The New Holstein Husky Closet, to supply basic personal hygiene products and clean clothing to any student in need. The closet is open and available so students can independently access it as needed, working to achieve a culture of positivity, respect and generosity throughout the building.
- The Rescue Readers at Medford Area Middle School is a program focused on developing interest in reading among students in conjunction with their love for animals. Students will be given the opportunity to attend a reading session once or twice a week at a local humane society, where they can read to cats and dogs after school and have access to books for all reading levels.
- The Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts will create a kindness club to create a strong culture of character and acceptance in the school and community. They will conduct kindness service projects, start a kindness week, initiate important discussions between buddy classrooms and teach students the importance of service and giving back.
- The School District of Bayfield has a program spearheaded by the seventh grade technology education students to construct ice fishing lures and learn about Ojibwe lures and decoys for ice fishing. It aims to increase the food sovereignty of Bayfield Middle School students and their families, harkening back to the tradition of Red Cliff Ojibwe people, to which around 85% of their student population belongs.
- Students at Menominee Indian Middle School in Neopit will be hosting a school and community wide luncheon to honor veterans, complete with decorations, gratitude videos and curated thank-you baskets for each attending veteran.
- Lovin' the Skin I'm In in the greater Green Bay area will support children of color in the foster system by providing a variety of proper hair care products, since the majority of these children do not have access or knowledge of the products they need. They hope to help each child's self-esteem through gathering an assortment of these products, since all hair texture is not the same.
Each group selected has a project supervisor who will help guide the students in their project and to serve as the communication liaison with the Packers and Brown County United Way. The projects should be complete by the end of the school year.