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home : education : schools November 24, 2015

2/11/2014 1:05:00 PM
Students pitch charities to donors
Sisters students made a professional presentation as part of their Community 101 class. photo by John Griffith
+ click to enlarge
Sisters students made a professional presentation as part of their Community 101 class. photo

by John Griffith

By John Griffith

Donors assembled for a hosted reception last week to listen to the Sisters High School leadership class present their Community 101 charity "pitches."

Dressed for business, the teams of two to four students delivered their best PowerPoint-supported pitch on why the charity they selected and researched should be one of the final recipients of a portion of the $5,000 collected by the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) from local donors.

The charities presented were the Family Access Network (FAN), Healing Reins, Saving Grace, Circle of Friends, Grandma's House, Big Brothers Big Sisters, KIDS Center, and the Sparrow Club.

The leadership class is offered every trimester, and is a requirement for any student seeking an honors diploma. In addition to the Community 101 program, the leadership class is also responsible for the coordination of all student activities at Sisters High School.

Dean of Students Michele Hammer is in charge the leadership class.

She said, "The goal is to develop what are the traits of a good leader, and then build on those skills by doing research, coordinating activities and by working together as teams. You have a very eclectic group of kids. There are 30 to 35 kids in the class each trimester and it is usually different kids each trimester.

Master of Ceremonies Wyatt Hougham explained, "The first step in this service project was determining what was truly important in the community through a survey of high school students, asking them to rank major issues based on what they felt was the most pressing."

The first-trimester students develop the survey data and develop a mission statement to be used to screen potential charities.

The Sisters High School 2013-2014 Community 101 mission statement is: "We the students of Sisters High School, with the financial support of the Bob and Yvette Chandler Foundation, the PGE Foundation, Roger and Carolyn Gabrielson, Mike and Sue Fisher, Jessie Lea and Curtis Abbott, and Robert and Anne VanHorn have identified through student feedback, the goal to help in meeting the needs of the underserved in Sisters Country, specifically low-income families and abused children, through fundraising."

The second trimester teams then take this mission statement and develop a list of local and regional charities that they feel fit the mission statement criteria. This year they came up with 16 charities of interest, which they narrowed down to eight for Tuesday's presentation.

The third trimester students will take this list of semi-finalists and, as teams, they will visit the charities and develop research data to support each team's position. Then, as a group they will make a final selection on the disbursement of funds.

Sisters School Board Chair Don Hedrick addressed the group: "Congratulations on all your research. I'm looking forward to coming to your final presentation when you pick your charities. Thank you for a great job."

Community 101 is an Oregon Community Foundation sponsored program started in 1997 to engage students in researching and selecting charities that best fit the unique situation of the students' local community. The stated intent of this program is to foster civic involvement by students demonstrating that they have a voice in the welfare of their community.

A number of the schools in Central Oregon participate in the program. This is the fifth year of Sisters High School's involvement.

The students in the second-trimester leadership class include Cammi Benson, Molly Boyle, Kenna Cardin, Marco D'Agostino, Addie Elson, Tyler Head, MacKenzie Hendrickson, Rylee Hurtley, Chase Lawrence, Ty Martin, Sara Peasley, Crystal Reifschneider, Rylee Rockwood, Taylor Schneider, Courtney Sickau, Sierra Slaughter, Ashley Smith, Remington Slicker, Tyler Surface, Jaden Taylor, Tymbre Townsend and Lauren Wattenburg.

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