Chelsea, MI – A unique project is taking place at Beach Middle School in the Chelsea School District, as Mrs. Kathryn McCalla and her cross section of student leaders from grades 6 through 8 are working hard to raise funds to support the new barrier free playground and the operations of St. Louis Center. Formally known as the “Leadership Class,” these youngsters are identified as leaders by the school faculty, and are literally recruited for this class. According to Beach Middle School Principle Nick Angel, “The old way of choosing student council leaders was more of a popularity contest than anything else. Today, we’re identifying our leaders through their actions.”
Mrs. McCalla began working with the class at the beginning of the school year to assist them in identifying a charity they’d like to work for, and then the students had to learn everything they could about their charity so that they could do a presentation to the entire student body to gain their support. This year, McCalla suggested they choose a local charity, and St. Louis Center was their choice. On September 14th, Public Relations Director Joe Yekulis of St. Louis Center visited the class, shared a video, and answered a number of great questions from the students about what St. Louis Center was all about. One week later on September 21st, the Leadership Class did a presentation to the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes to teach their peers about St. Louis Center and ask them for their support at upcoming fundraisers this fall.
Three events were planned, and the first one took place on October 6th, where the students held a car wash and raised $268 at Pierce Lake Elementary School. The next fundraisers will take place: Friday November 9, 2012 – 7th & 8th Grade Dance from 3:15 – 5 p.m. Friday November 16, 2012 – Rock-A-Thon (with rocking chairs) from 8 p.m.- 6 a.m.
Past fundraisers have included the ASPCA and Faith-in-Action, and each averages between $1500-2,000. The students are proud of their ability to give something back to the community.
St. Louis Center is a residential care center for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities located five miles west of Chelsea, and is administered by the Servants of Charity Congregation. For more information about St. Louis Center, please visit the website at www.stlouiscenter.org.