Tag Archives: Community Service

Fifth Annual Dance Marathon Breaks Another Record for Donations

On Saturday, Feb. 3, Ladue Horton Watkins High School (LHWHS) students held their annual Ladue Dance Marathon at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, where their efforts to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals culminated in their largest donation to date.

This year, the students raised a grand total of $80,120.05, about $35,900 more than last year. Over the past five years, Ladue Dance Marathon has raised more than $207,000. All funds stay local, going directly to Children’s Hospital and SSM Cardinal Glennon to help pay for new patient programs, equipment and facility renovations.

Students who participate in Ladue Dance Marathon spend months fundraising and wrap up their efforts at the event with music and dancing, games and philanthropic activities. Several patient families, known as “Miracle Families,” also attend the event to share their inspirational stories with the students who support them.

“We are both in awe of our students, their dedication to a worthy cause, and their enormous hearts,” faculty co-sponsors Mike Farrell and Julie Blank said. “All of these students worked tirelessly throughout the year to create fundraising opportunities, recruit dancers and inspire everyone to remember the purpose of the event: it’s for the kids.”

Dance Marathon is a nationwide organization that raises funds and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network. Ladue Dance Marathon is student-led and was the first high school Dance Marathon in Missouri.

Alumna Betsy Heller Cohen Profiled for Work with St. Louis Mosaic Project

Recently, 1972 Ladue Schools alumna Betsy Heller Cohen was featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for her work with the St. Louis Mosaic Project, a regional initiative with the goal of transforming St. Louis into the fastest growing major metropolitan area for immigration by 2020.

Betsy is the Executive Director of the organization, which is professionally managed by St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, World Trade Center St. Louis and a 27-member committee.

The article delves into Betsy’s penchant for international activities and relations.

“I’ve always been involved with different nonprofits and businesses,” she told the post-dispatch. “I think of myself as a connector.”

To read more about Betsy’s background, the St. Louis Mosaic Project’s mission or its initiatives, read the article here.

High School Students Worm Their Way to Sustainability

A group of nine high school students have made it to the Finals portion of the LEXUS EcoChallenge! This competition is a national STEM competition for grades 6-12. Student teams are encouraged to tackle environmental issues that affect their communities and create practical solutions while competing for a total of $500,000 in grants and scholarships. This is the first year students from our high school have entered the challenge.

The students’ project centers around feeding styrofoam waste to mealworms, critters that can safely digest the refuse. The two teacher sponsors are Monica Bowman and Katie Kane, and the students include: juniors Antonio Amore Rojas, Alice Breternitz, Faith Deddens, Carolyn Duncan, Eleanor Duncan and Megan Ross; and sophomores Abigail Bernstein, Cindy Wang and Christopher Ye.

In Monica Bowman’s science classroom, nestled behind bundles of yarn, are twelve 8-oz. cylinders, each filled with mealworms and superworms happily munching away at bits of styrofoam.”The yarn keeps them warm,” junior Alice Breternitz said, smiling.

“The interesting part of this project, for me, is the creative problem-solving as a group,” Alice said. “We found a problem—styrofoam that’s just thrown away after it’s used—and then we needed an out-of-the-box solution, something that would be sustainable. We learned that mealworms eat styrofoam, and that led to more research about how to make this work for our school.”

The students collected styrofoam from around the high school and began experimenting. They soon found that a group of superworms can eat 1 to 1.5 containers filled about 3/4 of the way with styrofoam each week.

“The part that impresses me most is that the students found this interesting idea, and it motivated them to try it out for themselves,” Katie said. “These students threw themselves into this project using their enthusiasm and critical thinking skills to figure out how they could make this a sustainable process for our school.”

Sustainability is key to this project, so the students are not only working on breaking down the styrofoam. They are also experimenting with using the feces of the worms as compost. And when the mealworms eventually turn into beetles, they will be used as food for the reptiles living in science classrooms.

“We would like to start collecting styrofoam from the middle school and the elementary schools, too, so that we can
make an impact at the district level,” Alice said.

For the Finals, the students’ project submission is due on March 5, 2018. To learn more about the Lexus Eco Challenge, please visit http://lexus.scholastic.com.

Five Ladue Schools Teams Advance to FIRST Lego League Championship

Five Ladue teams advanced to the FIRST Lego League Eastern Missouri Championship Tournament at St. Louis Community College in Florissant Valley on Saturday, Jan. 13th. Forty teams from around Missouri advanced to participate in the tournament. Old Bonhomme, Spoede, and Reed each had a fourth grade team led by teachers Tammy MacLean, Kathie Dolan, Carol Kliesen and Karen Engelkenjohn. One FGC team led by parent coach Sherry Wolk and one LMS/FGC team led by coaches Gaurav Suri and Sonali Jain also qualified to participate. Of the five Ladue teams, three teams won awards at the tournament Saturday.

LMS Student Donates Birthday Presents to Children in Need

For Ladue Middle School seventh grader Orli Hahn’s Bat Mitzvah, she chose to collect birthday presents for children in need at Birthday Joy Foundation headquarters rather than receive presents herself.

Orli chose to work with Birthday Joy Foundation, where her mom also volunteers. She invited friends to bring toys and add their name to the “Birthday Joy Wall of Fame.”

Birthday Joy donates to organizations that provide them with lists with the names of children and their birthdays.

Check out the video segment on KSDK here!

 

U.S. Junior Chess Team Player Holds Second Annual Chess Camp

Iris Zhou, an eighth-grader at Ladue Middle School and a member of the U.S. junior chess team, has hosted her second winter chess camp from Dec. 21 to Dec. 24, 2017.

Iris began playing chess at age 6 and soon rose as one of the top girl players in her age group in the nation. She has qualified multiple times for the U.S. junior chess team to compete in World Youth Chess Championship. Her most recent international competition was the 2017 World Youth Championship held in Uruguay in September 2017.

Two Ladue Schools Graduates Featured in Town & Style for Veiled Prophet Ball

Two Ladue Schools graduates are featured in the “Meet the Maids” portion of the Jan. 3, 2018 edition of Town & Style. Hannah and Hadley Parham were maids of the 2018 Veiled Prophet Ball. The young women involved in the social are active volunteers in their communities and have plans to continue their philanthropic efforts.

Hannah and Hadley, both the Class of 2016, attend the same university and are both pursuing a degree in elementary education. The two  joke that they’re partners in crime, both through their academics and their volunteerism. The sisters have worked with the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Great Circle, and Beyond Housing and Food Outreach. For more information, see the feature here.

LHWHS Freshman Highlighted for Boy Scout Community Service

Andrew Fruend, a freshman at LHWHS, was recently highlighted in the Ronald McDonald House of St. Louis Fall/Winter Newsletter. He completed a gaming-themed project with the organization while working to achieve the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Award. Andrew led friends to help build a game table/storage cabinet in the design of a giant Rubik’s Cube, collect over 50 new games, and host three gaming events at the Ronald McDonald House for the families. Congratulations to Andrew on this achievement!

Alumnus to Participate in 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum

Class of 1989 alumnus Stephanie Hammond Smith will travel to Oslo, Norway, to participate in the Nobel Peace Prize Forum on Dec. 11. She is scheduled to participate on the discussion panel to talk about the state of affairs concerning indigenous peoples in the world.

Ladue Middle School Student Ben Rich Creates Charitable “Mitzvah Market” For Those in Need

Check out the awesome charity work that Ladue Middle School student Ben Rich is doing through the process of becoming a bar mitzvah! Ben organized a clothing drive and market for people who might not be able to purchase new or used clothing.

“I just wanted to be able to help out people who need it, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it,” Ben said in an article by the St .Louis Jewish Light.

Click here to read more of this story!