Portage students recognized for service learning project - April 13, 2009

Record Number: 4958
Displayed from: Apr 13, 2009 , until: May 13, 2009

Portage Middle School students were named among the top 20 nationally for their participation in a project to collect food and clothing for those in need. The Drive for The League, a national service-learning program, was done in November, and Portage students contributed $263,199 in time and donations. Students are continuing their philanthropic work with a tutoring program. Eighth-grade student tutors are working with Portage sixth-graders and Lindley Elementary students to improve their grades. Already 10 Portage sixth-graders who had received multiple failing grades have graduated out of the program by improving their grades. "Our students are learning a lot by helping others," said Portage Interventionist Darrell Jackson, who serves as The League coach. "They are learning the value of philanthropy while helping their peers succeed in school." Fort Wayne Community Schools started working with The League in the fall with a $15,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to support projects at the 10 schools. The League is an organization that challenges students to make a difference by doing good work in their community. The organization encourages schools to combine service, learning and fun and provides financial support and incentives to completing service learning projects. This year, 10 FWCS schools are participating for the first time. Volunteers from Abbett, Arlington, Harris, Harrison Hill, Indian Village and Study elementary schools, Portage Middle School, Elmhurst and North Side high school and Anthis Career Center, completed training in October with the goal of increasing the quality and quantity of student philanthropy and service contributions. Schools earn points with The League through donations of money, food and clothing as well as volunteer hours served. Portage was among the top 20 schools across the country in points and contributions to the community for The Drive, a nationwide food and clothing drive sponsored by The League. For their efforts, the Portage students earned a $200 reward to pay for a celebration. "We're very proud of our students and the good work they are doing," Superintendent Wendy Robinson said. "Education comes in many forms, and it is critical that students learn to be good citizens who care about their community."

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.