With numerous student and staff groups giving back to their local community, the Neenah Joint School District has been honored with the Civic Partner of the Year Award from Future Neenah.
“This award is in appreciation of the time and effort of the teachers, staff, booster club volunteers and students of the Neenah Joint School District for the enthusiasm they put into community-based learning opportunities provided through private/public partnership,” said Future Neenah Executive Director Amy Barker, who presented the award at the March 15 School Board meeting. “Everyone from the outstanding art and music departments to the many booster clubs has been the backbone of our successful, large-scale community events over the past 32 years. As a small staff, we couldn’t do what we do without the support and assistance of these phenomenal community people.”
Among the activities, District art students annually provide artwork for the Future Neenah annual meeting that is displayed throughout downtown. In May, they will be painting a mural near the Valley Transit bus stop. High School students are involved in different activities with the “A Very Neenah Christmas” event, while the project based learning classes have assisted with the Humans of Neenah and Walking Tours of Neenah and made a presentation on water usage at the Farmers Market. The music students have performed at downtown community events and booster clubs have provided assistance with the annual Streetball event. This past year, the high school homecoming involved partnerships with businesses downtown that raised money for Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The partnerships with Future Neenah are just a small portion of the volunteer hours provided by Neenah students throughout the year. This year alone, Neenah High School students alone have given over 10,000 hours of community service. Some of these are required hours by their classes, but many students go above and beyond the expectations.
The Health Careers Academy and Freshman Seminar programs have each given about 2,500 hours, while Key Club has already given 1,500 hours to the community and Honor Society and Project Based Learning have provided about 700 hours each. Many of the varsity athletics teams also contribute extensive hours to community and school activities.
The middle and elementary schools are also involved in a wide variety of activities, including, but not limited to, raising money and making blankets for Children’s Hospital, visits to the VNA, donations to the Animal Shelter and bell ringing for Salvation Army.