West Virginia Wesleyan College and the Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School teamed up this semester to kick off a new mentoring program called DO IT (Decisions & Opportunities Impact Tomorrow).
This program allows Wesleyan students to serve as mentors for "at-risk" middle school students. Recently, the DO IT program received grant money from Youth Service America to coordinate a project as part of the Global Youth Service Day, a day of service by youth across the globe with more than 135 countries participating this year.
Between April 15 and 26, middle school teachers and students were asked to donate food to a food drive to benefit the Upshur Cooperative Parish House. Students from another organization at the middle school, Rachel's Challenge, also collaborated to help coordinate the drive. Using the grant money, the mentors and mentees purchased food for the drive and displayed it at the middle school to inspire others to donate.
To encourage friendly competition, students were divided into teams of boys and girls with teachers leading each team. The middle school administration decided that the losing teacher team would be "pied" in the face by the winning team of teachers.
By the end of the two-week period, B-UMS collected a total of 2,000 food items. The girls' team donated the most food, and as a result, the female teachers will "pie" the losing male teachers in the face at an assembly later this month. The food drive was the most successful in recent history, according to B-UMS Principal Renee Warner.
"The DO IT Program, Rachel's Challenge, the staff as well as students were buzzing with energy for the chance to help the Parish House and people in the community," said Shanna Parlock, graduation coach for Upshur County Schools. "Staff and students fueled each other. It was amazing to have such positive energy in the building. We are hoping to continue this energy in order to create the most positive learning environment possible. Our goal is for staff and students to want to come to school, the parents and community to want to work with us, and for everyone to work together to better our community."
For more information on the DO IT program, anyone interested can contact Brittany Johnk at 304-488-8559 or firstname.lastname@example.org.