Three Perham High School Seniors have embarked on a service project that is “Making a Difference” in many lives in our community. They are providing hygiene kits to students and adults in our area to combat bullying. The girls have appropriately titled their project, “Students Making a Difference.”
The project starts in Mrs. Bain’s English class. She implemented Genius Hour in her classroom. According to the Genius Hour website, “Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school.”
The idea stems from many businesses discovering that productivity goes up when they allow employees to spend 20% of their time on projects that they find interest in. When implemented in the classroom, students are given their own learning time to explore a passion of theirs. Students must start with a question that seems unanswered. They must do research and find a way to solve or answer their question. Then they must share it in any way they can.
Genius Hour projects are great experiences for all students, but especially for those that are not motivated by typical school learning environments. Exploring their own passions leads them down a path to intrinsic motivation that not only boosts their confidence, but also makes the learning process fun.
The three seniors – Eve Honer, Emma Briard, and Teri Harthun – started with the question, “Why do people get bullied?” And then they began their reserach. We’ve all heard of the “smelly kid” in school, and that is just what these girls set out to change. They decided to provide hygiene kits for students and adults in the community.
After securing a donation from KLN Family Brands for $2,000, the girls got to work on creating and distributing the kits. With those funds, they were able to provide hygiene kits to Boys & Girls Club, Head Start, Celebrate Recovery, Backpack Program, the 4th Grade Hygiene Talk, and the 5th Grade Puberty Talk. The kits have been flying out of their hands, and they’ve run out of funds.
The next step in the process is bigger than the girls imagined when they first set out on their project. They will be partnering with Lakeside Tap for a Beam Bag Tournament Fundraiser. There will be a silent auction for the group, and a portion of the brats and beer sales for the day will go towards their mission. The date for the event is set for April 1st, and it will act as a kick off to a week long donation drive from April 3rd to 7th. The group has asked businesses to act as drop off points for the community, and people can donate travel size hygiene products and/or cash donations. All of the funds generated will help provide these hygiene kits for people of all ages.