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Student earns ZHS’s first letter for community service
Mackenzie Risting has become the first student at Zimmerman High School to earn a varsity letter for community service.
Mackenzie, a sophomore, has been instrumental in working with Operation Christmas Child at her church, Central Lutheran in Elk River.
Operation Christmas Child sends shoeboxes full of items to children in need throughout the world. Last year, more than 500 shoeboxes were collected at Central Lutheran to be distributed through Operation Christmas Child. The shoeboxes were filled with necessities such as notebooks, toothbrushes, pencils, pens, soap and wash cloths as well as toys like Beanie Babies.
“It’s kind of a good feeling to help people,” Mackenzie said.
She said her sister was involved in the program and, when she graduated, passed it on to her. Mackenzie has been volunteering with Operation Christmas Child since she was in the seventh grade. She is the daughter of Tim and Michelle Risting, of Elk River.
Jaime Hilyar, activities director at Zimmerman High School, said in working with Mackenzie it’s obvious that serving others is important to her and her family.
“Mackenzie is a great kid and we are very happy she is part of our Thunder family,” Hilyar said. “We are hoping her leadership in the area of community service will inspire other students to think about contributing positively to our local and global communities.”
The varsity letter program for community service was first implemented at Zimmerman High School in the 2016-2017 school year. All students in grades nine through 12 are eligible to apply and can earn a letter each year.
“We had many discussions with various groups in Zimmerman about how to get students involved in their communities and serving others. This program was a way to promote and reward students serving their communities,” Hilyar said.
The varsity lettering criteria is as follows:
•150 hours of unpaid, volunteer service completed in any 12-month period. At least 75 hours must be completed through one agency or for one cause to insure understanding and sustained commitment to a selected social issue that is personally relevant to the student, such as homelessness, the elderly, poverty, literacy, environment or health care.
•A record of all service hours verified by an adult supervisor or parent.
•Two recommendation letters from organizations or people served describing the student’s service and performance.
•A written reflection, journal, video, song, work of art, children’s book, presentation or other piece of work based upon student’s sustained service with one agency or in one area of need.
•Digital photo of the student doing service.
•Student must have a 2.0 or above GPA and be chemical-free during the year to participate in the program.
To qualify for her letter, Mackenzie said she did 100 hours of her community service with the Operation Christmas Child project and spent another 50 hours helping some of her mom’s friends, who are teachers. She labeled books and did other tasks for them.
She also made a portfolio of her volunteer work and wrote a paper explaining what she did.
What We Do
The Zimmerman Booster Club would like to thank the many volunteers currently involved, now and from the past. It takes many volunteers coming together to make a difference.
As a Booster Club we are interested in any ideas you may have to better our student’s experiences here at Zimmerman middle school and high school.
Getting involved in your school through the Booster Club is fun and a great way to meet other adults and faculty. We are always looking for people to help with ideas and the planning of Booster Club activities. Everything we do benefits the students of our school and community. We support our Academics, Arts and Athletics. Come check out what we are up to!
Booster Club meetings are always the 2nd Monday of each month, except when there is no school that day. Then it will be the following Monday. Meetings are at 7:00 in the ZHS media center. Please Come and Check It Out!
We are always interested in your thoughts, please come to any meeting and help make a difference.
Mike Crego - email
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