Rantoul schools report: Community service important for students

By SCOTT AMERIO and MICHELLE RAMAGE
For Rantoul Press

Everyone knows the traditional subjects that are taught in our schools.

Reading, writing, and math are staples that are taught in every school throughout the country.

However, there are often opportunities to extend learning beyond these subjects.  

This year, our schools have embraced one such opportunity with an increased focus on community service projects. Giving back to the community that supports our schools creates a vested interest in being a part of that community for the students.  

At the high school, some of the organizations give back to the community by donating their time to various projects.

Some have participated in community beautification projects, while others have helped organize or provided workers for certain events.

The National Honor Society, FFA and Interact took part in the community wide cleanup day.

Each group was assigned a specific area in the community for which they were responsible.  

The cross country team helped put down wood chips at Centennial Park, located near the Public Works building, and volunteered for the past several years at the Illinois Marathon in the spring.  

The National Honor Society has helped with several fundraisers to help fight cancer, participating in both the Rantoul Cancer Walk and a walk to help raise funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

This past volleyball season, the team raised more than $400 for the Susan G. Komen foundation with the Volley for the Cure event.

Other organizations give back to the community by providing materials and goods that are needed.

Food drives are always a popular option and very much needed. Interact collected 279 food items in conjunction with Rotary’s Stuff the Truck event.

These items were given to the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County.

On Halloween, several FFA members participated in a Trick or Soup event, where they collected food instead of candy. A total of 880 pounds of food was collected and donated to the Community Service Center.

Realizing how busy the harvest season can be, the FFA also provided barbecue chicken dinners for 170 local farmers during this time.

Also, this past fall, the football team collected more than 700 items for the Community Service Center.

Moving away from food drives, the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) found some interesting ways to help.

They made 37 boo-boo bunnies for Anabel Huling Early Learning Center. These are washcloths that are rolled to look like a bunny, and then when a child has a boo-boo, an ice cube is put in the bunny’s body, which allows the child to hold the bunny against their boo-boo.  

The FCCLA also collected 84 coats that were donated to Bethany Park Christian Church.  

Rantoul Township High School and Rantoul City School students are proud to be working together.

Through RTHS service projects, we now have eight Big Brother Big Sister matches with Eastlawn Elementary students. How exciting for our Eastlawn students to become “littles” to the RTHS students they look up to.

This past summer, the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization worked with RTHS to identify, interview and train RTHS students to be “bigs.”

Once a week the “bigs” meet with their “littles” at Eastlawn School. In addition, we have five community-based matches.

Last Spring Big Brothers Big Sisters held Rantoul’s first Bowl for Kids’ Sake event at Country Tyme Lanes in Rantoul. RTHS and RCS districts were involved in this event as well as community members and local businesses.

The funds raised from the event have resulted in a part-time case manager position based in Rantoul to continue making matches for our community.

This position is currently posted and will be filled shortly.

The second annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake will be held from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Country Tyme Lanes.

The proceeds from the fundraiser will assist in continuing to fund the part-time Rantoul case manager position as well as other costs involved in making matches such as background checks.

A bowling team consists of four to six members with a donation minimum of $50 per team member or $250 per team. Participants will receive a free T-shirt and pizza.

You do not need to be a good bowler, just willing to have a great time  Steve Holstine from WIXY will be the MC, and there will be a 50/50 raffle and other prizes.

To access team member signup online, go to bbbs.kintera.org/2013 and choose “Register Now.” After you register you will be given options to send emails or Facebook messages to encourage donations for you or your team.

Thank you, Rantoul for helping our children succeed in helping to provide positive role models.

Scott Amerio and Michelle Ramage are superintendents of Rantoul Township High School and Rantoul City Schools, respectively.

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