Giving Makes a Difference
Giving can make a big difference in expanding learning opportunities for students in Shorewood Schools. The Shorewood SEED (Supporters of Excellence in Education Development) Foundation has helped raise over $200,000 annually to help fund projects, grants, and other various monetary needs of the Shorewood School District since 2003.
During the 2014-2015 school year, $2,449.00 was awarded to late Shorewood Intermediate School (SIS) Principal Mark Harris to fund the annual 7th grade Courage Retreat. The Courage Retreat is facilitated by a Minneapolis-based organization called Youth Frontiers and is intended to help students identify the social fears and peer pressures that undermine responsible decision-making. SIS School Counselor Julie Wells explained how these retreats help build a more positive school community.
1) How many years has Youth Frontiers been hosting retreats at SIS?
SIS has been hosting the Courage Retreat put on by Youth Frontiers for three years. Our first year, we did it with both 7th and 8th grade because we didn't want our 8th graders to miss out. From then on, we continued it with just our 7th grade students.
2) Do you typically see an immediate impact on students who participate in the retreat?
We definitely see immediate impact with our students. First, we see students getting to know other students they might not have classes with during the introductory activities and when they meet in small groups. One important part of the retreat is to make better connections with those around you. The main message of the retreat is having the courage to stand up for what you believe and what you know to be right. Additionally, the leaders share stories about making choices that involve courage. Students also work and brainstorm in small groups facilitated by Shorewood High School student volunteers.
3) How have the themes and lessons instilled during the retreat continued to shape the behaviors of SIS students?
The Youth Frontiers staff completely address and connect with us before the retreat to tailor the program to our student population each year. Last year was more about supporting one another and healing, as we had just lost Mr. Harris. This year was more of a focus on how our words can affect others.
4) Were you optimistic that the grant proposal was going to be chosen for fulfillment?
We were optimistic, as SEED has been very generous in the past. The retreat experience has become a very integral part of 7th grade at SIS, and we are so grateful to have had their support.
5) Why do you think philanthropy is important for Shorewood Schools?
We were very happy SEED helped us out! Student, parent, and teacher feedback has been great. Also, Youth Frontiers continues to send us messages a couple times a month to share with both 7th and 8th grade kids through classroom teachers. It just goes to show how generosity continues to positively impact and enhance our school environment.
For more information about how you can support new learning experiences for students in Shorewood Schools, visit the SEED website at www.shorewoodseed.org or contact Ted Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-961-3161.
Tuesday November, 17, 2015
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