April 29, 2014

Each of the 13 groups of students in Becky Boes' spring semester of sophomore English discovered a unique problem and solution for their semester projects - no easy feat, said Boes, who has included the project in her curriculum for nearly 10 years.

But it wasn't until three years ago that she added the "real world" component - encouraging students to address a global or local problem and narrow the issue down to learn what they, as high school students in rural Iowa, could actually do to make the world a better place. The students then present their ideas to address the problem to a panel of judges composed of representatives of various community entities.

The winning teams must move forward and complete their project. The other teams have the option to move forward - an option more and more students are choosing, said Boes. This semester seven teams are moving forward.

Team Thank You - comprised of Xavier Varner, Dani Hinman, Taylor Neumann and Shelly Hutchinson - plan to prepare a dessert bar for the end-of-the-year school banquet, show a video featuring students from elementary through high school grades, and deliver cards and small gifts to teachers and faculty who have helped the students throughout their education. The team felt that these individuals were not often recognized for the impact they make on students simply through their daily actions.

Team Dreams Made True Pageant - comprised of Tess Leiting, Dakota Teske and Dakota Boyer - is hosting a Playing for the Pageant basketball game this Saturday, May 3, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The cost to watch the Carroll Middle School faculty face down the CHS boys basketball team is a steal at $5 a ticket.

The event will also include a raffle, featuring prizes donated by local businesses ranging from grill accessories and two-day passes to the Carroll Aquatic Center to free oil changes and pedicure gift cards. Pizza Ranch has donated pizza for the concessions, Walmart has donated drinks, and the students will also sell homemade baked goods. All money raised will be donated to the Dreams Made True Pageant - a beauty pageant from girls ages 5 through 25 with disabilities.

The team was inspired by Teske's sister, Daleney, who participated in a similar pageant in Illinois. Her parents, David and Dayna Teske, started the local pageant in 2010.

Team Afterglow 5K - comprised of Austin Jensen, Austin Fleener, Macie Bock and Ashley Siegner - will hold a 5K run at Swan Lake State Park on Saturday, June 7, to benefit Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Cost to enter is $25 for an individual or $20 per person for a team of four. The team selected the American Cancer Society to benefit because the organization provides a local link to the fight against cancer. Those who register by May 24 will receive glow sticks and a T-shirt, designed by The Graphic Edge in Carroll. Runners will take off at 8 p.m.

Team Bowling for Change - comprised of Shaela Tiefenthaler, Brenna Lehman, Corey Fennel and Drake Warner - will hold a fundraiser this weekend, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on May 3 and May 4 at the Carroll Bowl, with proceeds going to New Hope to build a new sensory room. New Hope provides services to disabled residents in the Carroll area. Cost to enter the tournament is $125 per team or $25 per person. Of this entry fee, $55 will go to the bowling alley, $35 will go to New Hope and $35 will be contributed to the prize fund.

Team Pull the Tab - comprised of Josh Peter, Dylan Hupp, Kenzie Crawford and Haley Clinton - have been collecting pop tabs in all of the schools and a few area businesses. The tabs will be donated to the Ronald MacDonald House, which has helped families in more than 58 countries pay for needed medical care. One pound of pop tabs - approximately 1,267 tabs - is worth about $10. The students' goal was to collect 50 pounds of aluminum tabs.

Team Pathway to Creativity - comprised of Brooke Warneka, Gabi Howard, Ben Tidgren and Kyle Koster - collected craft and journaling supplies for children at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines. The supplies - including composition books, coloring tools and glitter - were provided by Artworks Studio in Carroll.

Team Bikes for Tikes - comprised of Abby Bueltel, Michaela Thompson, Brett Snyder and Matt Pauk - will be selling punch cards for Pizza Ranch on Saturday in front of Hy-Vee in Carroll to raise money to purchase bicycles for children in low-income families. The punch cards will cost $10 each and will contain 10 punches for one buffet for $4.99 with the purchase of a buffet at regular price. The punch cards won't expire until June 30, 2015. The bikes will be donated to New Opportunities for distribution to the families.

Other ideas from the students included starting a soccer camp in Carroll; collecting puzzles and games for residents at Regency Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Carroll; encouraging reading at the elementary levels through a production of "Seussical, The Musical," showcasing the works of Dr. Seuss; collecting cans of food for a homeless shelter in Des Moines; conducting an Earth Day program; and raising money for a student-sponsored college scholarship.