BWHS Challenge Day Donations needed; 2013 Program has $3,500 in matching funds
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Big Walnut High School’s Challenge Day is history, but because Challenge Day is not funded by the school district – CD support come from donations – organizers are already looking for 2013 Challenge Day funds.
Big Walnut High School has been holding an annual Challenge Day since the 2007-08 school year. Challenge Day is a nationally recognized motivation program that brings students together in a series of close-knit icebreaking group activities to break down walls created by bullying, teasing, clique problems, and other divisive and isolating activities.
During each Challenge Day session students experience a hands-on, intensive workshop designed to help them understand that we are all human beings, that we need to celebrate our differences and, at the same time, embrace each other.
The program has been so successful that all Big Walnut High School incoming freshman students go though the program.
“This year’s Challenge Day was wonderful as always,” said BWHS Student Council Advisor Angie Stooksbury. “It’s interesting, because the longer I work with national Challenge Day teams the more I learn. The leaders told me that even though the Challenge Day founders match schools up with the most suitable leaders for each district, the leaders still fight over who gets to come to Big Walnut. How cool is that?”
Stooksbury said Challenge Day leaders have told her that Big Walnut has something special; and as they travel across the country and go from school to school, they let Stooksbury know how much Big Walnut stands out.
But Challenge Day is expensive, Stooksbury said. Two days worth of Challenge Day – airfare, room, board and car rental for two California-based Challenge Day facilitators – costs close to $10,000, and the money needs to be in place before the 2013 Challenge Day session can be scheduled.
But there’s good news.
“As a result of our wonderful students and community, Dr. Robert Houser has generously offered to match up to $3,500 in donations for the 2013 school year Challenge Day,” Stooksbury said. “He did the $3,500 matching funds last year after his niece, Olivia Small, told him about Challenge Day.”
Stooksbury said this year Dr. Houser and his wife Stacey volunteered as Challenge Day adult facilitators; and after experiencing first hand the impact Challenge Day has on students they offered the matching donation again.
“My hope is that our community members come through as well,” Stooksbury said. “Any donations are welcome, large or small, and helps make Challenge Day happen. There are schools right here in Central Ohio that have Challenge Day, but they charge students to attend; and some students who cannot afford Challenge Day, who really could benefit from the program, are left out. We’re trying to tell our students that money doesn’t matter; what matters is how they treat each other.”
For additional information about the Big Walnut High School Challenge Day initiative and how to contribute as an individual or as a corporate sponsor to the 2013 Challenge Day, contact Angie Stooksbury at < firstname.lastname@example.org >, or call Stooksbury at the high school at 740–965-3766, Extension 1207.
Checks made out to Big Walnut High School Challenge Day may also be mailed to Big Walnut Local School District Treasurer Felicia Drummey, 105 Baughman Street, Suite A, Sunbury OH 43074.
For more information about the national Challenge Day program go to < challengeday.org >.