“Reindeer Games” at Lakeview | News, Sports, Jobs


CORTLAND – Students at Lakeview Middle School made helping the community a pleasure this holiday season with their “Reindeer games”.

Working with the school administration, eighth-grade students Isaiah Lantz, Chelsea Walker, Will Kirila and Alex Bates each selected a local charity to support, then organized a host of events and competitions to their classmates – each participating student playing to earn points and raise money for their team or charity of their choice.

“It’s like we’re doing something important” said Walker, who chose the Warren Family Mission as a charity because she had heard her mother talk about it and “Love what they do for people”.

Lantz chose to support United Way, Kirila chose Veterans Outreach in Youngstown, and Bates chose the Autism Society of the Mahoning Valley, saying: “I think there are a lot of people who struggle with autism who don’t have the same opportunities as we do.”

The idea of ​​the games – which included everything from a volleyball tournament to hula-hooping, an artistic challenge, anecdotes, a “Snow storm” math challenge, building a gingerbread house and “musical masterpiece” blind music contest – started when students discussed the possibility of girls playing soccer, Walker said. From there, they decided the boys could play volleyball and looked to organize a boys’ volleyball tournament. At the same time, the students needed an idea for a “a problem solver” project in their English class – and eventually the two ideas became one and grew to include a little something for everyone.

The problem-solving project was originally supposed to be a summer project, said Sydney Stein, an English teacher at the college, but it has grown into a year-long endeavor.

“I didn’t want to entrust a book project during the summer”, Stein said. “Now I want (the students) to experience leadership and be advocates for their community. “

Stein said she was proud of the students and thrilled to see them working to bring about real change.

“I think what I like the most about this project is that it was completely student-led”, school principal Ashley Handrych said. She said she was also happy that the students learned that the holiday season is not just about receiving gifts, but also about giving.

“It feels really good” Kirila said of the project, adding, “We raised a lot of money.

College kids were also allowed to wear hats – or hats, as one student wearing a fedora over a flat cap – for a donation of $ 1 on Friday. At the end of the day, the charity whose team earned the most points took home the money raised for the hats, according to Handrych.

Before the final funds were tallied, Handrych estimated that the students had raised around $ 1,300 – although she said it wasn’t just money; these were the students enthusiastic about helping the community.

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