Over the past year, students at the Forest Hills School District learned the true meaning of community when local fire departments and libraries helped them adjust to their new way of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, as a way to say thank you, students at the Junior-Senior High School are raising money for those same organizations.
This project is part of a new program added to the high school curriculum called “Leader in Me.”
“This has been a great experience for us. Just trying to turn around the community. Trying to build leadership capacity in our kids. Because our goal is for them to be successful after graduation. And what better way to give them these essential skills and values as they move forward in their life,” Superintendent Dave Lehman said about the program.
When schools were forced to adapt to virtual learning, area fire departments and libraries were open for students to use WiFi and meet with teachers, ensuring a smooth transition for all rangers.
Aside from pandemic-related assistance, Junior Mackenzie Hoover said the fire departments support the school in other ways too.
“We won the Conference Championship for basketball and the District Championship. They’ve taken their time and gas to escort us home with the sirens and everything,” Hoover explained.
The fundraising efforts included a “dress down” day for students and staff. The administration said they also reached out to 100 local businesses for donations. The money raised will be evenly split between the Beaverdale and South Fork Libraries and four local fire companies.
At the libraries, money will go towards operational costs and expanding their print collection. For the fire departments, it will help make up for revenue lost last year and will be used to purchase new personal protective equipment.
It’s a way for students to pay it forward to the place they call home.
So far, the school has raised over $1,400. They hope to continue this initiative for years to come.
If you’re interested in donating to this cause, checks can be made out to the Forest Hills School District with FIREHALL/LIBRARY in the memo.