Back in Black
The student council at Foothill High School in Henderson, NV, had a bright idea earlier this year: Hold a black light assembly to celebrate homecoming. They contacted a local entertainment company that specializes in black lighting to help set things up. The students purchased lasers and made glow-in-the-dark posters to decorate the event in addition to passing out light-up foam sticks on the day of the assembly. Everyone had a great time and thanked the council for the illuminating experience.
The student council at McAllen Memorial High School in McAllen, TX, hosted a weeklong project to raise awareness about human trafficking. They decided to hold a walkathon at the school’s stadium, educating participants by holding up statistics and important information on posters and hosting guest speakers who were knowledgeable about the topic. In addition to promoting the event via posters and social media, students also reached out to local restaurants and asked them to sell food during the event.
Paws ’n Claws
Student council members at Attica Junior-Senior High School in Attica, IN, volunteered their time to help a local animal shelter relocate to a new area that was a bit of a fixer-upper. Students were divided into two teams: the outdoor team that removed debris, litter, and scrap from the outside of the area, and the indoor team that cleaned and removed trash and any hazardous material from the interior of the building. Thanks to a lot of hard work, the property is now a wonderful place for furry friends to stay.
In the fall of 2018, NJHS members of the Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Catholic School in Orland Hills, IL, volunteered their time to help the local grasslands community glean seeds. Seeds need to be separated from the stems so they can be replanted in the grasslands in the spring. Some of the precious seeds were valued at thousands of dollars, and some were very rare. With that in mind, the students enthusiastically stomped on cloth bags full of these seeds (because their stems were very hard to break apart). The students then used wooden boxes with screens on top to sift the seeds from the plants. Everyone felt it was a unique way to help nature!
For their Earth Day project, NHS students at Harmony Science Academy in Houston decided to rally support to replace their Styrofoam lunch trays with biodegradable ones. First, they looked for an affordable supplier for 600 biodegradable lunch trays and fundraised with two after-school bake sales to purchase the trays. Next, they had a representative go from classroom to classroom to inform the student body of their cause and gain support for their petition, which requested a permanent change. Then, on Earth Day, students put the trays into action. Students ate lunch on the new trays and chose to sign a petition in support. Not only did students raise awareness throughout the school, but the movement led to even greater change. The school’s catering company that served school lunches changed their policy and decided to move to serving everything on biodegradable trays!
After advertising with flyers and Facebook posts around their community, NHS students at Nile C. Kinnick High School in Yokosuka, Japan, purchased shampoo, dog treats, and other supplies to help pull off a dog wash. Starting early in the morning, members set up several dog-washing stations and got a table ready to accept donations and educate participants about PAWS, a local animal shelter. They even had dogs from the animal shelter who had recently been adopted stop by so that their stories could be shared with the people attending the dog wash. After cleaning the dogs, the furry friends were sent off with a bag of treats. The school raised $300 for the animal shelter.
The student council at Palm Middle School in Moreno Valley, CA, celebrated National High Five Day by getting to school early and making a “high-five tunnel” at all the entrances. As students entered the campus, council members greeted everyone and gave the student a high five if they chose. They did this up until the start of homeroom, then continued between classes, during lunch, and all throughout the day. The enthusiasm was contagious and students who were not council members began high-fiving as well. It was a great way to boost everyone’s spirits!
Duffels of Love
NJHS members at California Connections Academy in San Juan Capistrano, CA, raised $1,750 to provide 70 duffel bags—each filled with a teddy bear, blanket, hygiene kit, crayons, coloring book, and an encouraging letter to donate to the children in the CASA of Orange County child welfare program (with collaborative support from Together We Rise—a nonprofit organization for foster children). The NJHS members created flyers that were handed out door to door, posted in community spaces, and forwarded to friends and family. In an effort to foster gratitude and quality family time, the group also hosted events for the school’s families to work together to decorate and fill the duffel bags.