RCHS class making impact on community

Herald review photo/Karin Armbruster
Herald review photo/Karin Armbruster

REED CITY — A class at Reed City High School focusing on making good leaders is making a positive impact on the school and community.

Almost 30 students in the elective course make up four groups that have different goals, including community service, aesthetics, special projects and school spirit.

Once in the class, students take on a lot of responsibility, including planning, making a supply list, scheduling, creating a budget and a timeline. In addition, each student who takes the class must complete eight hours of community service.

The class works as a team to raise money throughout the semester, placing it into one lump sum, and then decide where to donate. In the past, food pantries, the Angel Tree, the Osceola County Animal Shelter and the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center have benefited from the students' hard work. Other projects include a canned food drive, cleaning up a section of highway, clothing drive and providing Christmas gifts for children in need.

Teacher Kerry McGinley said the students usually enjoy the course because it takes them out of textbooks into the real world and allows them to see themselves in a different light outside of normal academics.

"I think they're pretty excited," he said about his newest students. "I'm really impressed with the kids I have."

Students Shane Walls, Dylan Langlois, Alexis Fletcher, Calvin Young, Holly Rolston and Olivia Lawson are part of the special projects group and put together a two-day bake sale from Sept. 19 to Sept. 20. Their goal was to raise $175, but they believe they topped $200.

Each student said they enjoyed the leadership class and what it has to offer.

"It's fun," said Young, a sophomore. "It's a class that gets the school more involved and a chance for students to make it a better place for everyone."

Others said they liked to have classmates of varying grade levels and backgrounds, which can help bring different ideas and opinions to the table when making an initial plan for the semester. Some students added they want to better their school district.

"As upperclassmen, it's our duty to do it and set an example for the lower grades," said senior Shane Walls. "In this class, you can see what you give back."

From his experience teaching the class, McGinley said he sees students fulfilled after completing the course.

"They have a lot more self confidence," he said. "They tend to be less shy about stepping up after they've taken the class."

His goal is to make sure the students leave a positive footprint at Reed City High School and in the Reed City Community. He wants the teens to know they can be successful if they make the effort to try.