Several Wisconsin middle school student groups will have a unique opportunity to make their mark on their communities after being awarded with 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, 13 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:
· Sixth grade students from North Shore Middle School in Hartland will design and create 3D printed therapy tools and toys for students with special needs in the district.
· To educate about and encourage healthy eating choices, Greenfield Middle School students will make smoothie bowls and salads to sell to teachers and staff to raise money for two local charities.
· Working with a local food pantry in Milwaukee County, an additional group of Greenfield Middle School students will put together hygiene bags for those in need.
· The Kindness Committee at Chilton Middle School will continue to spread kindness throughout their school and community by hosting small activities, such as a Cutest Pet Contest, Halloween Costume Contest, Valentine and Candy Cane Delivery Service and more to raise funds for community organizations. This year, they plan to raise money to purchase gift baskets for elderly community members who live in local nursing homes.
· The Chippewa Falls Middle School physical education program will build a Ga Ga pit to add to their curriculum and encourage active lifestyle choices. The space will also be available for the community to use and enjoy.
· Jerstad-Agerholm K-8 in Racine will start the Jerstad Community Garden by teaching students how to grow vegetables and fruits. They will start with seeds in January and later transfer them to an outdoor garden, learning about the life cycle of plants during the process. Students plan to supply the produce to others at school or local food banks who have limited access to nutritious food.
· To ensure that students feel belonging and connectedness, Mineral Point Middle School will create a Kindness Club to create welcome kits for new students, bring families and students together through game nights and create community service opportunities.
· Cedar Grove-Belgium Middle School students will work to spread joy to the elderly community this holiday season by visiting residents who may not otherwise have many visitors during the season. Students will bring small homemade crafts and holiday treats and spend some quality time with residents.
· This winter, John Muir Middle School in Wausau students will participate in Knot in this Alone by providing youth with necessary winter clothing and blankets. They will conduct a marketing campaign throughout the school and estimate being able to offer warmth to 500 area youth with items gathered.
· To better connect and engage with the environment, students in Kenosha Unified School District will found a sustainable butterfly garden at Mahone Middle School. It will positively impact the environmental habitat around the school, provide social emotional benefits, and improve the students' environmental literacy.
· Bay View Middle School students in Howard are planning a service project that fosters ideals of respect and patriotism. They plan to clean up local areas such as the Suamico Cemetery. They will be educated on cemetery etiquette as well as rake leaves, clean up around headstones, plant flowers and place American flags by veterans' graves.
· To grow their tutoring program, Wrightstown Middle School will be matching up fifth through eighth grade students with a buddy, getting games and materials for bonding activities and putting together an end of the year party with snacks. This will encourage other students to get involved and decrease the waitlist for tutors.
· Lovin' the Skin I'm In in the greater Green Bay area will support Black and Brown families currently residing in shelters by providing a variety of proper hair care products for residents. The group hopes to gather 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.