2015-2016 School Year
When Mason Intermediate fourth grader Rishika Jeyaprakash realized helping others is her calling, she encouraged her friends to join in on the action as well! Today, she has already recruited 14 classmates to her group, the Little Helpers.
For several years, third graders in Kris Beck, Libby Beck, Megan Hollowell and Kelli O'Connell's classes have been encouraged to give back to their community as part of their citizenship units. The students get to choose their service project, and then record how it works toward the common good in their community. This year's third graders came up with a variety of ways to help others. Some students baked cookies and other treats for their school's custodians, counselors, and secretaries, as well as local firefighters. Other students picked up garbage, helped set up soccer goals, made dog toys that were given to the Warren County Humane Society, and organized a food drive for the Mason Food Pantry.
The Mason Early Childhood Center and Western Row Elementary School collected food items to support their Reach Out Backpack programs, which provide weekend meals for their hungriest students.
Mason Intermediate collected coats and winter wear items for our neediest district families, with the remainder going to a local homeless shelter.
Mason Middle School Builder’s Club collected new or gently-used sweatpants and sweatshirts to be distributed to those in our local community and the homeless.
Mason High School SIBS and Spanish National Honor Society collected monetary donations for the Mason Food Pantry.
AM and PM kindergartners in Tina Darling, Jessica Grabeman, Michelle Hastings, Lori Miller, Susan Ossim, Ragan Reeves, Natalie Rodefeld, Katie Sheehan and Shelly Whalen's launched a movement in memory of Sophia Grace Smallwood, the niece of MECC first grade teacher BJ Smallwood (whose students also participated). Sophia Smallwood was born premature with heart defects and passed away on November 10, 2010. From October 9-November 17, the kindergartners took on the Sophia Smallwood 40 Day Challenge – a challenge to do random acts of kindness for others for 40 days to spread love and compassion. Students will be "filling Sophia's heart" everyday.
MI Student Samantha Martel organized a fourth grade toy drive for Children's Hospital in honor of classmate battling cancer. On October 16, Martel delivered over 700 new books and toys to Cincinnati Children's on behalf of all her classmates.
Over 250 veterans were honored at Mason Intermediate during a special Veteran's Day event on November 11. The ceremony included a packed parade through the hallways, touching musical performances and poetry readings.
Prior to learning about children in foster care, students at Western Row might not have put their backpack on the list of things for which they are thankful. That's changed after Jen Brunsman, Kelly Gholz, Sarah Greulich's and Emily Matthews third grade classes met met with Krista Lorenz and Carrie Bird, the founder and treasurer of Warm Welcomes - a nonprofit that Lorenz and her family started in 2013 after "having our eyes and hearts forever opened to the needs of children in foster care during our time as a foster family." The third graders helped the organization fill "Welcome Bags' - which are filled with comfort and necessity items and are given to children (ages 0-18) as they are transitioned into a foster placement. Welcome Bags are delivered year round to local children, and can be used again when going to a new home instead of a trash bag.
Mason High School's 118 SIBS (Students Involving and Befriending Students) and 196 members of the Spanish National Honor Society put together a wildly successful campaign for the Mason Food Pantry that resulted in Mason families raising over $17,200 for this year's food drive.
Mason High School juniors Rachel Cutter and Adele Igney are raising awareness surrounding the sacrifice service working dogs make for our communities through their work with Spike’s K9 Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization founded by James Hatch, a retired Special Warfare Operator. As a K9 handler on several deployments, James’ life was regularly spared in thanks to the work of K9s and one of the most memorable of those was Spike.
Several MI students happily created fleece blankets to donate to critically ill children as part of Mason High School sophomore Madison Van Erp's after-school enrichment class. Madison's protegees have made 22 cozy, adorable blankets for Project Linus - a nonprofit dedicated to providing "love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer 'blanketeers'," according to the organization's website.
Mason Intermediate sixth graders collected donations to support sending a local veteran on an Honor Flight. The 110 Team Horizon students and their families raised $415. A check was presented to Honor Flight Tri-State director Cheryl Popp on December 14.
Over 110 area senior citizens kicked off the holidays with their neighbors at Western Row Elementary on December 15.
Mason High School juniors Rachel Cutter and Adele Igney are on a mission to raise awareness of the sacrifice service working dogs make for our communities through their work with Spike’s K9 Fund, a nonprofit founded by James Hatch, a retired Special Warfare Operator. Cutter and Igney enlisted the Mason High School Comets Ice Hockey Club Team to assist with a fundraiser to vest City of Mason Police K9s with ballistic vests - stab proof, bullet proof and individually fitted for comfort and agility - to keep the K9s safe while protecting our community. The officers rely on donations to outfit their K9 partners properly.
Mason Middle School’s Builders Club prepared bags for the Warm Welcomes Foster Care Outreach Welcome Party that was held at Xavier University’s Cintas Center on Sunday, February 21. Builders Club is a student-led program providing members with opportunities to perform service, build character and develop leadership. It is open to all MMS students and is chartered in partnership with Kiwanis International. More than 25 students helped to assemble the bags, which included temporary tattoos, whistles, mini basketball kick balls and glow necklaces.
Mason High School sophomore Natasha Saputra delivered more than $1,500 worth of books, toys and board games to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital during the fifth year of her Book-for-A-Cure Fundraiser. Saputra founded the fundraiser while in sixth grade as part of the Mason Intermediate ACT Problem Solving Project.
Mason Intermediate sixth graders on Team Patriots held their annual Penny War February 22-26 for Crohns Research at Children’s Hospital. Students presented a check for $1,907 to Anna Kuertz and Pam Morgan from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital IBD Research Department on Friday March 4. In the three years that Team Patriots has held a Penny War for Crohns Research, students have raised over $5,000!
Leukemia and Lymphoma have hit too close to home for many in the Mason City Schools community. Members of Mason Intermediate School’s Team Innovation, Team Quest and Team Venture recently honored their friends and heroes who have battled blood cancer by donating $7,260.74 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Eleven members of the William Mason High School Class of 2016 were honored for their decision to serve their country during a Blue Star Ceremony in the school’s auditorium on May 13.