Brightmont Academy - Northville staff and students contribute to hurricane victims with a community service project
As summer draws to a close and fall leaves begin to drop, we enter into the turbulent time of year for dangerous weather, specifically hurricanes. Each year we start at the beginning of the season naming our hurricanes with an "A" moniker and going down the alphabet as each new storm forms in the Atlantic. While many hurricanes are downgraded to minor annoyances before they hit our shores, occasionally a major category hurricane rages onto land destroying everything in it's wake. And this year we have had an abundance of devastating hurricanes thus far.
When something so horrific tears apart a town, many of us want to know what we can do to help. We feel lucky we were not impacted, but feel terrible for those who were. One special group of students, parents and teachers joined together at Brightmont Academy in Northville, Michigan to make a difference for those who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
Going into the school year, Brightmont Academy Campus Director Teresa Woods made it her mission to enhance a sense of community at this exceptional one-to-one school. "We wanted to create more school pride and have more of a connection to the community around us," she said. This can be a daunting task at a school where each student is in class individually with a teacher. In order to accomplish this, Woods thought of pulling all of her students together for some community service around the holidays. But when hurricane Harvey hit, she knew it was the perfect time to engage her amazing students.
After researching donation opportunities, Woods selected an organization in Texas that could use diapers and other personal hygiene items. Together with the students and parents, they began collecting items to send to those in need. And while this was a worthy effort, it did not mesh with the concept of connecting with their immediate community. They decided to reach out to local businesses to build a bridge to those around them.
The group at Brightmont created flyers to hand out to the community asking for even more donations. The students during their P.E. classes walked the neighborhood passing out the flyers. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Local restaurants and businesses were more than happy to help promote the collection. The donations came pouring into the drop boxes at Brightmont. And in addition to the donations, it also opened a dialogue in the community about the unique school in their neighborhood. "It gave the businesses in our community a better sense of who Brightmont is," stated Woods.
The project came to a culmination when all of the donations had been collected and the students gathered to box them up and ship them out. The students felt a real sense of accomplishment with what they had done together as a team. "And the parents felt great about the kids being involved in such a worthy effort, while having a bit of fun at the same time," noted Woods. This altruistic event brought the students together and gave them a sense of pride in their school. As one parent noted, this event helped her solidify her thinking that this is a great place to go to school. For all, it was a wonderful way to bring the school together while helping those in need and getting to know their community better.