Tim Allard, Director of Calhoun Community High School, shared these amazing notes at our April 2015 meeting.
On behalf of the staff and students at Calhoun Community High School I want to say thank you for your generous donation. I’m grateful that my chemistry teacher, Lisa Ryan, had the courage to share about our school and that you all had the generosity to help us help kids.
Calhoun Community High School is by definition an “alternative high school.” Sometimes the term “alternative” can have a negative connotation. It is understandable. Nonetheless, our kids are much like any other kids. They want to fit in, they want to be successful, and they want to be independent.
Nonetheless, when they come to us, they have typically become disenfranchised with the “traditional” school system. Often times our students lack a stable home life and many of them come from homes of poverty and dysfunction. It can be a challenge to engage them in learning and because they’ve experienced a great deal of failure in school, it is almost expected.
Service learning helps us give our kids a purpose, it helps them to connect to their community, and it most certainly helps our kids have a sense of achievement.
I’ve always said, and I firmly believe, that success breeds success. Therefore, the more service learning we can do, the more success our kids tend to have.
Here is the current list of service learning activities that your dollars are helping to fund.
- Students have gone to Charitable Union to help with a coat drive, they’ve helped fold clothes, they’ve hung clothes, and they’ve labeled clothes. Lisa Ryan has been instrumental in this connection and has worked with Tammy the Charitable Union Volunteer.
- Another project that Lisa has done is taking her consumers science class to the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen. There our students worked with Jane and helped to prepare and serve food.
- Our social studies Teacher, Mr. Doster has worked closely with Kellogg Community College where we have begun a partnership. Students in the service learning class at KCC have started volunteering in our school. One student in particular along with Mr. Doster conducted a food drive and a clothing drive for the Food Bank.
- Another science Teacher, Mrs. Egnatuk, works with her environmental science class and they have partnered in service learning with Jeremy from Sprout Urban Farms. This partnership has led to a hoop house behind our school where we are growing fresh vegetables. Furthermore, our kids travel to sprout sites where they plant, weed, and harvest vegetables. They also learn the business of farming and connect other curricular areas such as math and marketing to the learning.
- Another project done by Mrs. Ryan was to have her class knit Baby Hats for the Child Abuse Prevention program. Your donation helped to purchase the materials for that project.
- We have conducted two blood drives with the Red Cross.
- Our English Teacher, Mr. Heuerman has connected with Calhoun Christian Elementary where our students went and read alongside elementary students. We are gathering titles of their favorite books and plan to make a donation to their library.
- The Algebra Teacher, Mrs. Nowak, takes her students to Northpointe Woods where our kids play games and spend time in conversation with the residents. Our students have even helped some of the residents with learning how to use technology like Ipads and did some online biographies with the residents.
Most of the money we use to help transport students from school to the places where they are doing service learning. We do not have transportation at our school which can be a reason we do not take our kids away from the building. Now, with your donation, we have been able to all of these projects and we plan to do even more.
Again we thank you and I hope you have a blessed day.
— as presented at our Women of Impact meeting on April 14, 2015. We cannot thank Tim enough for this amazing presentation on our impact. We love hearing about how our contributions affect our chosen organizations. Thank you!