For the first time in memory, the senior class has 100 percent participation in the Christmas Fund Drive. Shannon Roth, government teacher, wove letter writing into a government lesson on civic engagement, spurring much of the energy. Learning to write to constituents and express opinions and passions is a key way to engage in our government, she noted. Students and Mrs. Roth wrote letters during a class period as they reviewed the how-tos of letter writing and advocacy for a cause.
Across the school, encouragement from peer leaders and teachers, has helped students grades 6-12 to embrace the 2019 Christmas Fund Drive with enthusiasm that launched record setting letter writing and early donations.
Gifts totaling more than $20,000 had come in already in response to the drive by December 11, the last day of letter writing. Students had helped to put some 2,000 letters in the mail over two weeks of daytime letter writing sessions and through take-home letter writing packets.
Student leaders launched the drive Nov. 26 with Family Feud featuring questions on fund drive themes. Students are learning leadership skills and growing in their understanding of philanthropy and generosity through this effort.
Lunchtime and drop-in daytime letter writing sessions provided materials and space for students to reach out to past donors and new alumni and friends. Others chose to participate by punching buttons on an old fashioned phone.
“This was actually fun,” said one senior after the first night of calling. “I left lots of messages and got two ‘yeses.’ I wish I’d tried this another year!” Other students are developing confidence to ask family members and other caring adults in person to support their school.
The letter makes space for students to articulate what they love about EMS. Over and over they mention caring teachers, feeling like they belong and being part of a community. Specific letters bring a smile to development team members as they review and stuff envelops.
“I value my experience at EMS because the teachers trust us and we trust them,” wrote one sixth grade girl “…We can eat outside at lunch and use power drills in the workshop. I love this school!”
Another sixth grader wrote, “I love learning more about God. I want to be a chaplain when I grow up.” And another wrote, “EMS values teaching God before almost everything, but also teaching you about God by incorporating him into other academics.”
Other common themes are friendships, the music program, E-term, Discovery and other hands-on learning opportunities, and athletic teams and coaches.
Thank you for responding yes — with any amount — when a student develops the courage to ask you to support their school! Ask them what they appreciate about EMS and let them know your gift is an investment in their future.