By Travis Smola
The Schoolcraft school board heard the annual report from the band boosters at their February meeting. Boosters treasurer Kevin Stuart shared the group’s activities and progress for the year. The boosters came in about $2,000 under their $5,000 fundraising goal in 2015.
Boosters use money raised from projects such a scholarship fund, to pay for professional instruction and shirts for the middle school band and choir. Even though the group didn’t take in as much money last year, it is off to a good start this year and has another fundraiser planned for the spring.
Middle school principal Dave Powers and several students gave a presentation on how the student program Rachel’s Challenge has been received at the school. The program was brought to Schoolcraft courtesy of Southwest Energy and is based on the inspirational story of Rachel Scott, who was the first student killed in the 1999 Columbine school shooting in Colorado.
The program is geared towards creating a more positive cultural climate at school through kindness and understanding of others. The response by students and staff to the video presentation earlier in the year of Rachel’s stories and ideas has been extremely positive.
“Already we’ve been seeing some kindness and compassion and chain reactions happening,” Powers said.
Students have participated in spirit days and done mentor programs for younger students to help bring about this new climate. In all, five students and one teacher spoke about the positive influence the program has had on them in the school. The results impressed the board.
“You could tell with the presentation they did there’s a lot of sincerity there,” Vice President Michael Rochholz said. Skip Fox noted the students’ behavior during the presentation. “Every one of them was attentive and was courteous to the other students; it’s working,” Fox said.
For first-year Principal Powers, the program’s effects are expanding on an already good environment within the school. “The power lies in tapping into your own heart,” Powers said. “Quite frankly, it was already there quite a bit.”
In other news at the meeting, the board approved the renewal of the operation non-homestead millage at 18 mills. Superintendent Rusty Stitt recommended approval so the item could be on an August ballot. “We believe that would allow us, if it does fail, to go back in November and try again,” Stitt said.