A character education program at Cassville High School will benefit from a $1,500 grant that was awarded through the Rural Schools Partnership.
The Student Conservation grant will be used by the CHS students who will participate in and document stream cleanup efforts.
According to CHS Assistant Principal Terry Jamieson, the grant money will be used to purchase a trailer to haul refuse and recyclables and camera equipment to video and photograph the stream clean-up projects. The students will create documentaries and presentations to raise awareness of environmental issues and make their work available to other groups and schools.
"The area here in southwest Missouri is replete with beautiful streams and our students can 'pay it forward,' so to speak, by improving those waterways and demonstrating to the public that learning truly can be proactive and hands on," Jamieson said.
Through the character education program, students commit to volunteering at five or more clean-ups of area waterways during the 2011-12 school year. The high school's mass media class will document the cleanups through both video and still photographs, which will be submitted to area publications.
"We really don't drill into kids through curriculum the importance of being good stewards of the environment," Jamieson said. "Our goal is for people to realize that it does need to be cleaned up and that students can be counted on to do this."
Student Conservation grants are funded through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) in partnership with the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, which focuses on natural resource conservation and conservation-related outdoor recreation. Cassville is a member of the CFO's Rural Schools Partnership, which focuses on sustaining rural schools as anchors of their communities.
The Character Project was created by Jamieson and initiated at Cassville High School in the spring of 2010. Through the program, students and community members are recognized for displaying outstanding character traits such as good deeds, unselfishness, scholarship, hard work, values and service.
This school year, the program was expanded to include community service projects that focus on improving the environment.