Numerous community organizations benefitted from Neenah High School freshman students during projects by their Freshman Seminar classes this fall.
Organizations such as Children’s Hospital, Christine Ann Center, Fox Valley Emergency Shelter, Special Olympics, Neenah-Menasha Fire Department, Neenah Animal Shelter and Fox Valley Humane Association all received financial assistance or supplies through the projects. Neenah elementary schools, assisted living facilities and local residents also benefitted.
The Freshman Seminar program is in its fourth year and was designed as a way to help acclimate incoming students to Neenah High School. Each class is led by a Neenah High School teacher and several upperclass students. One aspect of the class is to create and execute a community service project.
Each of the 21 classes had a different service project and displayed them at a “Community Service Fair” at Neenah High School on Nov. 26. The fair was held in the Armstrong wing of the school and provided each group a way to present the details of their project to other students and staff. Members of local charitable community groups also attended the fair to show students additional volunteer opportunities that are available.
Children’s Hospital received stuffed animals and nearly $2,000 in fund. A 5K color run organized by one of the classes raised $1,615, while another group sold milk and cookies and one class sold ice cream coupons. The Fox Valley Humane Society received $300 through a fundraiser by one group at the homecoming football game and the Neenah Animal Shelter received tie blankets from a class. Two groups worked to make fleece blankets and collect personal care items to support the Christine Ann Center, while two other groups combined to make blankets and collect money and supplies for the Fox Valley Emergency Center.
Some students donated time, visiting residents at Sterling House and raking lawns of elderly neighbors. Students also visited Tullar and Hoover Elementary Schools to read, tutor and discuss their experiences in school.
The projects also benefitted other students within Neenah High School. A group did craft projects with special education students, while another put positive post-it notes on lockers and one class gave out notes and nickels every time they saw compassion in the hallways. A group raised $1,000 and worked to beautify the courtyard in the Conant wing of the building, while another class collected items and helped organize “the Orbit” closet, which benefits needy families of Neenah High School students.
A “miracle minute” and concessions sold at the Special Olympics basketball event on Nov. 20 raised over $600 for the organization. Another group held a bake sale to prepare care packages for local firefighters.
Some of the classes are continuing activities through the end of the Freshman Seminar program at the close of the first semester on Jan. 16.