New Tech at Gereau students continue to surpass their Relay for Life fund raising goals.
The students’ initial goal was to raise $1,000. Before long, $1,000 became $2,000, and now $3,000 is in sight.
Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. This year’s Franklin County Relay for Life will be held at 6 p.m. on June 22 at the Franklin County High School track.
New Tech is a project-based learning program for about 90 eighth graders at the Gereau Center.
Last November Tina Arrington, a teacher with the English and digital input technology course, approached student Hannah Woodford with the need for a project idea to go along with the book “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness, which the students would be reading later in the year.
The book tells the story of a 13 year-old boy whose mother is dying of cancer. His fears manifest themselves as a tree that visits him. Woodford was particularly interested in the project because she had already read the book and seen the movie. Also, her father’s best friend died of cancer recently.
Woodford said she thought that partnering with Relay for Life would be “a cool project that kids could relate to.”
The local Relay for Life organization thought it was a great idea, too, as they are always looking for more youth participation. The New Tech team is one of 24 teams participating, and it is the only team comprised of, and led by, students.
The kids have been busy with a variety of projects to help raise money for Relay for Life, including designing a T-shirt that will be sold at the Gereau Center and Benjamin Franklin Middle School. Student Lili Call came up with the winning T-shirt design.
The students are also raffling off Harvester tickets for Rodney Crowell’s June 10 performance. The drawing will be held on May 15.
Team members have been calling businesses to help sponsor their T-shirt project, and getting support.
They are also providing acts of service by making cancer ribbons, decorating the luminaria bags and writing cards and letters to cancer survivors. Donations are being sought for 150 goodie bags to be given out at a banquet for survivors on June 2.
On May 15 the team will serve a $5 per plate dinner at the Relay for Life’s team captains’ meeting at the hospital.
The New Tech team will be rewarded with a BBQ fun day on the last day of school for meeting their $2,000 goal.
To tie in with the project’s cancer theme, adult and child counselor, David Stuart will be visiting the New Tech students on May 17 to talk about fears, nightmares and the impact of cancer.
“I am very proud of our students and their work on this project,” Arrington said. “They were the ones who had the ideas, made the calls and visits, and organized the fundraisers. They have surpassed their goal and shown how capable they are on so many levels.”
“It has been encouraging to collaborate with the students and share ideas about fundraising and Relay,” Relay organizer Cindy Cox said. “I’m hopeful that this collaboration will continue and grow.”