Champion students say lesson of helping others having impact beyond the classroom

Local News

CHAMPION TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – A classroom lesson is having an impact both in the Champion school community and beyond.

It all started with a lesson about a book, and now Champion seniors are taking what they read out into the real world.

A mural made up of student handprints is just one of the projects the seniors took part in. It’s in a student common area known as the “Flash Zone.”

“We wanted the entire class every year coming in to put their hand on the wall and show that we are in this together, because the one thing we do as a community is we come together, said senior Deana Miller.

This colorful show of hands makes up the mural for Students 4 Change. It’s their way of sharing the organization’s message of carrying on the legacy of the late Savannah Smith.

“Students 4 Change was an organization created by Savannah Smith who sadly passed away in January of 2020. It was a way of spreading awareness about mental health in the Champion community,” said senior Emma Lipscomb.

This project is just one of several spearheaded by seniors to Make a Difference, both in the schools and out in the community.

Other projects included writing notes to first responders and donating stuffed animals to the Ronald McDonald House, ventures that were born from teacher James Sheldon’s lesson about the book “The Last Lecture.”

“Some of those key lessons are the ideas that we can be what’s called a communitarian. That if you’re a member of a community, you can impact the community, and you have an obligation to do things that make your community better,” said Sheldon.

Seniors that WKBN spoke with say they were both proud and amazed to see all the projects coming to life and making a real impact in the community around them.

“When we got the chance to make a difference with something, we really just wanted to show these kids that even though we don’t know them, that there’s still people out in the world thinking about them and wanting them to get better,” said senior Gianetta Major.

“The project allows the students to feel what it’s like to grow in confidence and build that self-esteem that makes them feel as if they’re making a difference in the world around them, and that’s pretty much the point of the lesson,” Sheldon said.

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