FWCS Celebrates Riley Champion, Kicks Off Annual Event - February 08, 2012

Record Number: 8459
Displayed from: Feb 08, 2012 , until: May 30, 2012

Fort Wayne Community Schools celebrated one of this year's Riley Champions and kicked off its annual Kids Caring & Sharing fundraising event for Riley Hospital for Children today. Andrew Armstrong, a freshman at New Tech Academy at Wayne High School, was named a Riley Champion in November. The Riley Champions program honors Riley patients who have inspired communities with their bravery and commitment to help others. Riley Champions give meaning to their struggles by raising awareness, sharing their personal journeys and participating in community service opportunities, such as organizing blood drives and fundraising. Andrew was 9 months old when he was airlifted to Riley with serious liver and kidney issues. He spent time on dialysis before receiving a kidney from his great aunt. He returned to Riley for several years for check-ups and today leads the life of a typical 14-year-old. Andrew is the second FWCS student to be named a Riley Champion. Last year, Bloomingdale Elementary third-grader Aleigha Sweet was named a Riley Champion. Andrew helped in kicking off the fifth-annual FWCS Kids Caring & Sharing fundraising event, which gives students a chance to help other children. The program is a special project of the Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP) to support Riley Children's Foundation. Each year, FWCS sets a goal of becoming a Miracle Corporation, which means raising $1 for every student in each school in the district. Last year the district raised $28,453, with two-thirds of the schools reaching Miracle School status and seven collecting than $1,000 each. Riley has played a significant role in the lives of many in our community and in our schools. There is not a building in FWCS that does not have a Riley connection. Whether it is a student who is a Riley kid or a parent or grandparent who has taken a child to Riley for services, most people know someone who has benefitted from Riley said Croninger Principal Rebecca Dennis, who represents District 3 of the Indiana Association of School Principals on the Kids Caring & Sharing Advisory Board. Participating in Kids Caring & Sharing gives our students a chance to support their friends and make a difference in the lives of others. While most FWCS schools participate in Hearts for Riley in February, some schools have already completed their campaigns for the year. Bunche Montessori Early Childhood Center has already raised enough money to earn Miracle School status. Several administrative buildings also participate in the fundraiser. Those not working in or attending an FWCS school can drop off donations at any FWCS building, including the Grile Administrative Center downtown at 1200 S. Clinton St. Riley Children's Foundation supports Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, Camp Riley and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home. As Indiana's only comprehensive hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children, Riley Hospital has provided compassionate care, support and comfort to children and their families since 1924. Each year children from all 92 Indiana counties turn to Riley Hospital and its regional clinics throughout the state more than 350,000 times. Riley Hospital's partnership with Indiana University Health and its strong affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine make Riley Hospital the leader in pediatric care in the state and the region. Each year families from Allen County turn to Riley for care nearly 4,000 times; families from Northeast Indiana visit Riley nearly 9,000 times. Many of these children are also being treated at either Parkview or Lutheran facilities, and their doctors in Allen County work closely with Riley doctors. Of the appointments from Allen County, 182 are inpatients visits and 3,849 are outpatient visits. When students help Riley, they are helping their friends and classmates. Riley Children's Foundation is committed to improving the health and well-being of children across Indiana, said Jason

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.