by KRIS DEYOUNG
Every now and then, as a teacher when you introduce a new class project, students don’t always react with the great joy and excitement you picture playing out in your mind. However, when you share with the kids that it is a contest, and that the top winners take home $1,500 for their school as well as $250 gift cards for each winning team member, well, things change.
Students of Rockford High School (RHS) TV Studio’s Beyond The Rock team recently took home a first-place finish in a statewide public service announcement (PSA) contest put on by the Michigan Rural Water Association (MRWA), a nonprofit organization. This competition is the second annual high school video contest put on by the MRWA. The task given to school groups was to create a 30-second PSA that promoted the importance of preserving our water, and being socially responsible stewards of this life necessity. The MRWA created this project in order to get the younger generation to understand the importance of this topic, and to spread the word to their peers, their families and their communities.
The group consisting of RHS juniors Molly Doren and Jenna Severson and sophomore Mitchell Peterson took home the first prize and were extremely thrilled upon hearing the news.
“I was thrilled beyond belief when I heard we won,” Doren commented.
Severson shared in the excitement, but was also taken a bit off guard. “I was completely surprised we won, because there were so many great entries.”
All three students gained a respect for the proper care of this limited and life-sustaining resource. “I believe strongly that humanitarian issues need to be brought to attention in our society. This PSA gave us a chance not only to learn, but too show why safe water is so vital,” Severson shared with a concerned heart.
The students were also quite excited to be receiving quite a hefty gift card.
“Jenna had a plan for the money within minutes. If I remember correctly, much of it involved clothes and food,” instructor Kris DeYoung chuckled. “It was a great project, and a great reminder to us all not to take our clean water for granted, and to do our part in being proper stewards of this valuable resource. So many in the world go without clean drinking water, we need to not only be thankful, but also look to how we can help those who aren’t as fortunate.”
For more information on the MRWA, visit www.mrwa.org. For more information on RHS TV Studio, visit “Beyond The Rock” on Facebook.