American Studies students join together to create ideas to raise money for charity

Students in the tenth grade American Studies class were given the task to find a way to help families in Guatemala through the One World Water Project organization. The task came about after sophomore Michael Fabatz went to Guatemala over Christmas break with a group of people from the Fenton community including juniors Sarah Johnson and Abby Rachor.

“We stayed at an orphanage called Dorie’s Promise in Guatemala City,” Fabatz said. “There were 33 kids there and they all attached to a certain person in our group. Being with them was definitely the best part.”

While in Guatemala, the group passed out food and supplies, built 27 stairs in the slum of Guatemala City, and volunteered at the state orphanage.

“It was scary to see all the fighting just from the lack of supplies,” Fabatz said. “There are 900 kids [at the state orphanage] when there’s only supposed to be 400. This makes it impossible for the mom’s to control everything and keep the kids safe.”

After they returned, Fabatz approached American Studies teacher Charissa Rausch about committing the class to a community service project involving fundraising for water filters. From there she took the idea and turned it into a learning experience for the students by creating a unit to teach them how to analyze PSAs and create their own effective campaign.

“I thought that this unit was kind of cool because it’s something different that you sometimes don’t get to do in other classes,” sophomore McKenzie Mead said. “Something that is off the beat and path and has a purpose with a visible goal at the end.”

The class was divided into ten groups each in charge of coming up with an idea for a PSA accompanied with an event to raise money and posters to advertise it.

“My group thought the best way to advertise our PSA was to make it as simple and realistic as possible,” sophomore Griffin Carr said. “Our idea had to be realistic and a good fundraising idea.”

During class on Tuesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 20, each group presented their ideas to students in Video Productions who then chose the best PSA that will be produced and aired on the newscast in SRT.

“I think there were some really great ideas but I think there wasn’t necessarily a public service announcement and a fundraiser that together were perfect,” Mead said. “I wish that the whole class could get together and make one great big idea.”

The PSA that was chosen by Video Productions will be announced on Monday, March 24. From there students from both classes will work together to create the PSA and organize the event chosen by the class. Further information concerning the details will be announced on a later date.

“I don’t want people to just give money,” Fabatz said. “I want people to have the opportunity to do something fun while still raising awareness.”