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Students Rebuild Challenge, 2017

For the third year in a row, High School East Social Studies teacher, Cynthia Cullen took the lead on creating a service learning project for all Half Hollow Hills students.  We thank Ms. Cullen for her vision and leadership and for bringing this learning experience annually to all of our students.  Working with students at High School East, along with her colleagues, Jessica Nolan and Allison Uttendorfer, she created lessons to be shared with students so that they could learn about the millions of young people who face the unstable circumstances of poverty which too often causes them to leave their education behind to find ways to provide for their basic needs.  Students from High School East visited all of our elementary classrooms earlier this year to teach our youngest students that while these misfortunes are significant, through a simple act of kindness and art, they could help make a difference.  Our older students, at both middle schools and high schools, learned about poverty at the local and global levels before they too were given the opportunity to put their learning into service.  At High School West, teachers Carol Lislevatn and Michael Stein led our service learning efforts. 
Students in kindergarten through grade twelve participated in the Students Rebuild, Uplift Challenge.  The challenge was simple: trace and decorate your hand – for every hand that was made, the Bezos Family Foundation pledged to donate $1.90 to Save the Children’s programs empowering youth in Nicaragua and Indonesia.  Three years ago, students K – 12 participated for the first time in the Rebuild Challenge. That first year, we made bookmarks to donate to literacy programs: districtwide, students made 7,958 bookmarks, and the Bezos family donated $15,916 to the Save the Children's Literacy Boost Foundation.  Last year, the challenge focused on refugees and districtwide and our students made 13,000 pinwheels equaling a donation of just over $30,000!  This year, Mrs. Cullen set a goal of making 15,000 hands districtwide: in total, our students wound up making  29,918 hands worth $56,844

Senior Experience, 2017

Students from our 2017 Senior Experience classes participated in our first annual Senior Experience Internship Celebration.  The students presented to their peers, their mentors, parents, administrators and to the Senior Experience Class of 2018.  Following the celebration students from both East and West once again created a Field of Honor at Central Office, planting U.S. flags in a solemn formation on the front lawn to honor our military, veterans and first responders who have struggled through our nation’s history to
protect and defend our nation.  

A Firsthand Account of the Civil Rights Movement

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a civil rights activist and Freedom Rider, presented on her experiences taking part in sit-ins and being the first white student to attend Tougaloo College in Jackson Mississippi.  All of our 8th grade students were amazed to hear her firsthand account of participating in the Woolworth lunch counter sit-in in May of 1963 and about the summer she spent in the Parchman Penitentiary at the age of 19.  
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