(Article and picture credit to Jordan Carson and WOTV 4 Social Sizzle)
“IONIA, Mich. (WOTV)-During Martin Luther Kin, Jr. Day, local students are lending a hand. Here are a few of the ways that students are giving back, in celebration. The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is comprised of high school students from six surrounding schools in the county. The YAC consists of students from Belding, Ionia, Lakewood, Lowell, Portland, and Saranac schools. They gather once a month to discuss issues affecting youth in their communities and to take action on important youth causes.
“At the January meeting, the YAC welcomed their Stepping Toward Educational Progress; Underachievement Perishes (STEP UP) 8th grade mentees, to help pack dentistry, hygiene, and hat/mitten/scarf bags. Students worked together to make 500 hundred bags to give to the IM KIDS 3rd MEAL program, and local food pantries. The YAC also had the opportunity to listen to Erin Roberts, the Executive Director from Relief After ViolentEncounter, speak about the importance of daily supplies for children and families. Without programs that reach out to the community, like the YAC and STEP UP, many people in need would go without. The essential packages ensure that people in the community have critical supplies. Students are making a big difference by giving to others. Through packages like these, many families will have one less need to fill.
‘The Cool To Be Kind challenge is our way to improve the kindness we already have in our school.’ – Brittany Munson, GHS 12
“Both groups also decorated a total of 200 bookmarks for the Students Rebuild Save the Children & Global Nomads Group. The bookmarks will be sent to children internationally, as a motivational tool for reading. These will be sent in for the Bezos Family Foundation to donate $1—up to $300,000—to Save the “Children’s LiteracyBoost” program. These programs are helping children around the globe, including in Latin America (Peru), Africa (Mali), and Asia (Nepal).
‘This challenge is just one more way to bring our students together and create more kindness in our school. And we will have fun doing so.’ – Alec Fowler, GHS 11
“By participating in these projects, local students are helping to strengthen other communities. One of the YAC co-chairs, Hannah Lufkin expressed, “This meeting was a blast! I think that the YAC working together to help out community organizations like this is very important. It’s a fun way for us to give back. Volunteering in our community is important to the YAC as a whole.” In doing service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., students find they can make a positive change in the world, just as he has. The YAC is able to improve education, health care, and literacy for communities. The key to great success is working together, and local students are stepping up to secure this dream.”