Photo: Bottom (from left): Logan Maykowski, Megan Campbell, Malaya Sherman, and Nick Ball. Top (from left): Grace Zoldak, Elley Adkins, Josh Callahan-Foley, Brooklyn Stone, Abba Heironimus, Cobe Jones, Emma Jones, Parker Cochren, and Bree Small. Winners not pictured: Jingwei Baker, Gina Lawhon, and Jacey Hartman.
Mount Vernon Middle School student Emma Jones participated in an Action Research Project this spring, initiated by MVMS teachers Walt Lewis and Andy Accettola. Her award-winning essay, “Every Family Deserves a Chance” about Knox County Head Start resulted in a donation awarded to KCHS, her organization of choice.
Teachers Lewis and Accettola used a list of nonprofit agencies and programs provide by United Way of Knox County from which the students could choose. Instructions were to investigate an organization/helping place you believe in and advocate for it: write in support of it. Students were encouraged to “reflect on your role in Mount Vernon at large and your responsibility to the service of your community… discover causes you care about and grow up to become the kind of citizen who donates, time, goods, or money to help people, animals and the environment.” This project also helped students learn how to conduct first-hand research.
These students were honored and recognized on May 20, and the 16 winners from both classes were given a chance to share their essays. Check out the other essays below:
Elley Adkins – Dream Big, Start Small (Interchurch Social Services)
Gina Lawhon – The Hunger to Help (Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church Hot Meals Program)
Parker Cochren – A Simple Decent Place to Call Home (Habitat for Humanity)
Logan Maykowski – A Wealth of Sympathy (The Salvation Army)
John Callahan-Foley – Build a Bit of Character (4-H)
Cobe Jones – Doing Together What We Could Never Do Separately (Interchurch Social Services)
Brooklyn Stone – Now I Have the Tools (Behavioral Healthcare Partners of Central Ohio)
Malaya Sherman – “Death is Part of Life” (Hospice of Knox County)
Jacey Hartman – Partnerships for a Brighter Future (The Village Network)
Nick Ball – A Man’s Best Friend (The Underdog Society)
Jingwei Baker – A Little Help Can Change Lives (HopeNow)
Grace Zoldak – A Second Chance for Life (Starting Point)
Abba Heironimus – Life at a Different Angle (New Directions Domestic Abuse Shelter)
Bree Small – A Second Chance for the Unbroken (Mount Vernon Dog Shelter)
Megan Campbell – Imagination Library (United Way of Knox County)
Each organization was awarded at least $20 (some more based on the numbers of classroom winners) thanks to the informative and thorough essays completed by the students. These students are now “little spokespeople” for their nonprofits while others have plans to use their free time volunteering at their designated agency.
Congratulations and thank you for sharing your wonderful stories with us!