Generosity of Fruita students will last beyond the holidays
FMHS Interact, Key clubs raise $3,200 for special education class
Submitted by Alice McCary
At a time of year when many teens are contemplating the gifts they will get this holiday season, students of the Fruita Monument High School Interact and Key Clubs are giving to their peers in the Side-by-Side (SXS), special education program at FMHS. For the past several months, Interact Club and Key Club students have been building awareness amongst their student body and engaging their support to raise funds for the purchase of equipment and technology that enables special education students in the SXS program to develop the life skills necessary for leading independent lives. To date, these clubs have raised over $2,200 and been awarded a $1,000 matching grant from Kids Giving. The $3,200 will be used to purchase an oven range, Kindle e-readers, and Grand Valley Transit Passes.
This project is a “gift that keeps giving,” on many different levels. The Kids Giving grant applications submitted by the Interact Club and Key Club demonstrated the far-reaching good of this project. First, students from two different groups were coming together collaboratively to creatively meet an identified need in their school community. Collaboration and creative problem solving are important skills for young people to develop as they move into our modern workforce. Additionally, the students were interested in understanding and building relationships with the group they were supporting.
As Interact Club President, Julia Terry stated in the Kids Giving grant application: “That’s why raising awareness and letting our participants learn and interact with our SXS kids will be so great- because not everyone gets to do that. It allows the participants to learn that the world is a big place filled with different people and what’s a better way to learn about different people than to help them while having fun and making friends?”
But, these students didn’t just want to understand the needs of the SXS; they wanted to spread the word to others. According to Key Club President, Courtlyn Carpenter in her application for a Kids Giving grant: “… teachers throughout the school have been informed of this project and are speaking to their classes about the need for this oven and the big impact it can have. This means that the entire school is learning more about the Side-by-Side program and spreading awareness.”
Both groups of students acknowledge the life-long impact the oven range, Kindle e-readers and Grand Valley Transit passes will have on the lives of the special education students in the SXS program.
According to the Key Club, “This oven is necessary for them to learn how to cook, an essential part of their education, and a skill they will need once they graduate from high school.” The Interact Club acknowledges, “They may purchase Kindle Readers, which allows the handicap easier access to digital books, and for Grand Valley Transit Passes, that allow the SXS kids to travel and experience using the bus or going to the grocery store.”
After months of various fundraising efforts including bake sales, a change drive, volunteering at a Tour of the Moon bike ride aid station, donation solicitations and Kids Giving grant applications the groups have met their goal. A fund presentation on behalf of the Interact Club and Key Club to the Side-By-Side class will take place Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 1:15 p.m. at FMHS. Plans for a luncheon to celebrate the installation of the range are underway. In preparing for the delivery of funds to the SXS program Terry’s enthusiasm sums up the spirit of this project, “…they can get their Kindles and other things they need. It’s like Christmas!