When members of the Class of 2016 heard about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, they were concerned and wanted to do something about it. The students reached out to Social Studies teacher Judy Stewart to develop a plan and take action.
“This was an issue that sprung up in class. Several students wanted to study it further and take action. It wasn’t for credit; they just wanted to do it”, said Teacher Judy Stewart.
“I got involved because I was concerned. What if something like that happened here? -Senior Scout D
The students met regularly and developed a plan to raise awareness about the issue and raise funds to provide some relief to those affected. Some students were interested in the science behind the contaminated water, some were interested in political action and others wanted to raise money to help those impacted.
“It was a great opportunity for kids and to explore an area that interested them while we helped out a community in a real-world issue that we all cared deeply about”- Senior Ben B
Last week the students put their plan into action. They set up several displays in the lobby that included information about the crisis, petitions and information about how to donate to the cause. They sent the following email to the staff and student body to inform them of the event:
In case you haven’t noticed, there are a group of high school students in the main lobby this week presenting a project they did on the Flint, Michigan toxic water crisis. There are two petitions to be signed that will be scanned and emailed to specific officials (national, state of Michigan, and Flint city) who are helping, and those who have ignored or contributed to this tragedy in the first place. There is also a table for donations to flintkids.org that helps with medical expenses, additional testing of children for lead, and much more. Donations of $5 or more will not only help an important organization but will get you a student-designed wristband! Check out our informational posters regarding the effect of lead on the human body, the timeline of events, and other facts.
As a result of their efforts, the students raised awareness of the crisis and met their goal of raising $500. They also collected 140 signatures on petitions that will be sent to government officials.
“It was a team effort. A small group in a small school like ours made a difference in educating staff and students as well as raising funds. If other people think something needs to be done, you can do it” -Senior Kailey W
“This experience has heightened my belief that young people are willing to take action on issues that seem to be out of their control” -Teacher Judy Stewart