Tag Archives: community

Monroe County Students Serve Community on GYSD

By Logan Guzik, junior

From planting trees to picking up trash, teens from Monroe County participated in Global Youth Service Day 2017 on April 21, the world’s largest day of community service.

With the help of Monroe County Youth Council (MCYC), seniors Celestina Garcia and Ellen Bergan worked vigorously, starting in November 2016, to lead the 2017 Global Youth Service Day. Both members were thrilled to be working together in leading the youth participants and serving various local community organizations within but not limited to Monroe County.

“Volunteering effectuates change,” Bergan said, “What you’re doing here is truly making a difference in your community.”

Edgewood freshman Vanessa Fender attended GYSD for the first time and was happy to be working closely with K-5 children. Fender hoped to make new friends at GYSD and share a helping hand to everyone she encountered.

“When you help people it makes you feel really good about yourself,” Fender said.

Youth participants are registered after enrolling through a participating organization such as a school, church, or even online. Participants were free to join an event or create their own. They were given a choice of projects in the following categories: health, environment, poverty and hunger, education, human rights, and community building.

One factor limiting Edgewood High School sophomore students from participating in GYSD was the ISTEP+ testing for 2017. GYSD fell on the Friday of the testing week, so so sophomore students were not able to leave school to participate. Sophomores who were eagerly looking forward to GYSD had to search for other means of giving back to the community. For those who missed GYSD 2017, the next opportunity is in 2018.

At the end of the day, Bergan and Garcia always wish for more time.

“It’s hard work, but it’s fun work, especially with a friend. You have such a sense of fulfillment and self-actualization at the end of the day like, ‘I accomplished this, I planted those plants, or I cleaned this entire pantry; this was my work and I made an impact on other people’s lives.’ It’s a really good feeling,” Garcia said.

If you want to serve the Bloomington community through GYSD, MCYC sign ups begin in the fall of 2017. For more information visit http://bloomington.in.gov/volunteer


Feature photo by the Monroe County Youth Council

Jazzercise Offers Free Classes for Young Adults

By Logan Guzik, junior

Free Jazzercise classes are now available for young adults ages 16-21, thanks to “Girl Force,” a program being offered throughout 2017 by the local Ellettsville Jazzercise Studio located at the Richland Plaza near the IGA.

Jazzercise is an aerobic exercise program involving movements such as a dance or kickboxing to music. It helps you be part of a community; Jazzercise is for everyone to enjoy and meet their fitness goals in a healthy atmosphere. Participants experience dancing with a large group to popular top 40 songs, have fun and move. Jazzercise instructor and business owner Melannie Stillins explains how Jazzercise has brought value to her everyday life.

“Jazzercise empowered me to step out of the box, take chances, not being afraid, and to find the sense of community and comradery that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” Stillins said.

According to Stillins, participants most enjoy the sense of community that Jazzercise provides as well as working out in a fashion that the entire group can find enjoyable. It allows participants to work at their own pace, learn the dances at their own pace, and choose their own intensity.

According to learn.healthpro.com, the history of Jazzercise can be dated as far back as 1969, where it was founded by professional jazz dancer Judy Shepard. Jazzercise can be found in more than 32 countries. The goals of the dynamic choreographed program remain the same: It combines jazz dance moves, cardio, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing all to the tune of popular music.

One common saying the Jazzercise community likes to use is, “You think you know us, but you don’t.” The stigma of Jazzercise tends to keep young participants away, but Jazzercise does not have anything to do with old-fashioned music and “jazz hands”. The biggest fear people have when joining is not feeling comfortable dancing or just not knowing the dance.

“You get your workout, you make some friendships, and the accountability helps keep you coming back,” Stillins said.

Edgewood High School Students Making A Difference during the Holiday Season

By Heather Christy, senior

Edgewood High School’s Student Council is developing a program called the Shoebox Project, designed to help the elderly feel appreciated during the holidays.

This project will be a combined effort of Student Council, who will be hosting this event, with NHS, and Key Club. Student contributions are being collected for these shoeboxes, which is located in front of the EHS library. Student Council will be collecting shoeboxes, and in December with the help of NHS and Key Club, wrapping them. The council will then deliver them to the local Richland-Bean Blossom Health Care Center, whose goal is to “help restore maximum abilities for individuals recovering from medical injuries with a patient-centered, cost-effective manner,” according to www.rbbhcc.com.

 “I feel like this Shoebox Project is going to be a great way to give back to our community and share the Christmas spirit,” senior and co-president Jenni Miller said.

To make this work, the council will need seventy-eight shoeboxes altogether, thirty for the men and forty-eight for the women. Placed inside the men’s shoeboxes will be a large cross word puzzle book and wordsearch, a pen, hard candy, homemade soap, chapstick, and candy canes. The women will be receiving the same thing, along with fuzzy socks with grips on the bottom. The shoeboxes will have something in common; in every one of those seventy-eight boxes will be a letter, expressing who is giving this present.

“I think that this project can really bring together three groups in our school and allow us to recognize the elderly in our community. We can work together to make some old people really happy at Christmas, especially those people who do not have family who visit them,” senior and co-president Megan Higgins said.