Eau Claire (ELK MOUND MIDDLE SCHOOL) - In the beginning of April, the 8th grade class began the "Be the Source" unit in English. We focused on being the source of happiness, leadership, laughter, self acceptance, accepting others, and dreaming big. All year long, our civics and English classes have tried to tie together and relate somehow. For example, we made slam poems about U.S. presidents and wrote narratives about the lawmaking process. After a few weeks of working on "being the source" in English, we were assigned a new project in civics of being the source community service. First, we planned fundraising in the school and applied for jobs in the classroom. Different jobs included the marketing committee, finance committee, fundraising committee, managers, advertisement committee, and the town clean up committee. Once we all had our jobs we started to call and email local businesses asking for donations seeing if they'd be willing to help.
We also began to fundraise. We have had freezie sales, bake sales, penny wars, lemonade/rootbeer float stands, and sold passes to chew gum and wear hats during school which is normally not allowed. We are also in the middle of planning a movie night with a raffle at our school on May 25. One of our classmates has made a "Be the Source" t-shirt to sell and wear on the days we will be completing the project, May 31 and June 1.
On the days of the service we will be going around the village of Elk Mound planting flowers, doing yard work and housework for members of the community, volunteering at the local food pantry, painting structures around town, and picking up garbage near roads.
One of our biggest goals at the beginning of the project was to come up with the funding for a new town welcome sign. Our old welcome sign fell apart this year because of the weather, so we were hoping to pay for the new sign which was estimated to cost $1,037. By us coming up with the funding for the sign, we will be saving the community's tax dollars to be used for other causes. With the help of over 20 businesses and churches in the area, we have been able to raise over $1,500 so far.
Other classmates have began creating plans over the past week to potentially purchase new playground equipment at Lion's park in Elk Mound if we can raise enough money. If anyone would like to donate to our service project, they can email our civics teacher, Mr. Kessler, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overall, what has started as a small plan for the eighth grade to help a few people in our community, has grown into a school and community-wide mission to inspire citizens to give back to the community and eachother out of the kindness within themselves. It is by far one of the most beneficial and memorable projects we've completed during our schooling this far.