Chagrin Falls Middle School Eighth Graders are Becoming “Forces in Motion”

This year, eighth-grade students at Chagrin Falls Middle School are striving to be “forces in motion.”  Students brainstormed numerous ways to make a difference in their community and are now in service learning groups led by a staff member that meets three times a month.

Tiger Tutors, under the direction of Amanda Heintzelman and Meghan Bando,  are busy working with students 1-1 in the Innovation Center every Thursday during WIN period. 

Under the direction of art teacher Amy Fenton, the Art Fur Animals student group is working on art pieces and making animal clothes to donate to nonprofits to be used for fundraising events. They  also are hosting pop up painting parties in the middle school art room where students will pay to participate with the proceeds going to nonprofits.  

Tigers Lend a Paw, under the direction of teachers Marisa Conte and Tamara Mrofchak, are working to put together fundraisers and making items to donate to the animals at Rescue Village. 

One of the service learning groups, Lead 4 Change, led by Kathleen Aranavage and Marissa Ausperk, made 100 food bags to feed the hungry at the West Side Catholic Center.  “We are so grateful for the thoughtfulness and care that your students put into making these bagged lunches,” said Director of Advancement Michael Bernot, West Side Catholic Center.  “If our clients arrive for a meal late, or a parent arrives with a child, these bags are given out to those individuals to ensure that they do not go without a meal.”

The Build a Hand: Enable the Future student group, led by PLTW teacher Mike Wujnovich and Makerspace Implementor David Kimball, continues to use the 3D printer to assemble a prosthetic hand for a donation to someone in need. 

The Rehab-a-Bike student group, led by teacher Todd Thombs, collected old bikes and is learning how to repair and refurbish them to donate to iCan Bike Camp hosted by the Achievement Center for Children.

The Tigers Care group of students, led by teacher Jennifer Remaley, has raised funds by selling Chromebook stickers and donating to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.  They also collected toys for Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, which were delivered before winter break.

Under the direction of teacher Emily Moore, the ChaGreen Jr. group of students have been looking at ways to make Chagrin Falls more environmentally friendly. They have created recycling posters that are displayed around the school and also helping with a community clean up and tree planting.  Chagreen Jr. has a goal to get plants in every classroom.

Library media specialist Angie Jameson’s News Crew students are filming and creating a mini-doc to publicize all of the great things each of these service learning groups are doing. Students have learned about photojournalism and videography throughout this process. Students are using iMovie to produce their mini-documentary.

“Forces in Motion builds engagement. Engaged students are excited. They are able to wonder and feel connected, whether it’s to school, peers, staff or projects,” said Principal Laila Discenza, Chagrin Falls Middle School. “What makes this group successful is that the courses were developed from student voice while advisers help personalize student experiences. Eighth graders have the entire year to not only explore their passions but also their world and identify how they fit into it and how they can make it better.”

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News