Monday, December 17, 2012

School Tragedy in CT

I have posted before about NIU and VA Tech, but I feel that this new tragedy deserves a sociological understanding and it is my hope that students will feel that they can understand this tragedy better and from a more complex perspective by reading this post.

First of all, please understand that in general, schools are still among the safest places for students to be.  Here is an article from Bloomberg news that highlights how much safer schools are now than 20 years ago.  Statistically, you are more likely to be injured in a car accident than at school.  Try to take solace in that.  Also, please know that if  you are having trouble processing this tragedy and it is emotionally upsetting, you are not alone! It is normal, especially if you have been through traumatic events before, that this is difficult and emotionally draining.  Take care to get some extra sleep, try to go through your daily events, get some exercise, and limit your exposure to the media barrage.  And know that schools are aware that these events are difficult.  There are lots of resources at school to help you: talk to a teacher, a counselor, social worker, psychologist.  Do not hesitate or feel weird about talking about what is difficult for you.  This is especially true for males; there is an unhealthy stigma for males in our society to not talk about their feelings.  Please do not buy into this unhealthy attitude.

That being said, I still think the tragedy deserves our attention.  We have talked lots about sociological mindfulness and I think that can provide us an outlet for our rage and horror at these events.  We can start to make small choices about who and what we support as individuals and about the dialogue is this nation around these events.  This is not easy or simple, though we have a tendency to try and see it that way, partly because of the media and politics that do not allow such a detailed an complex analysis.

We know its complex from sociology studies that have analyzed the problem.  Two very worthwhile studies in understanding the random school shooting phenomena are:
Katharine Newman's book, Rampage; the Social Roots of School Shootings.  There is a detailed review of the book here.  Here is a brief description:

Newman and her research team investigated the Kentucky and Arkansas incidents, visiting those communities, and conducting 163 interviews with families, students, teachers, administrators, journalists, and professionals. The book devotes detailed chapters to each case, and then several more to construct a sociological theory for the 25 rampage shootings that occurred in the USA between 1974 and 2002. In contrast to most popular explanations, no shooter suddenly 'snapped' in a psychotic rage. Rather, each perpetuator carefully planned their assault well in advance. Further, while American inner cities may be global symbols of violence and mayhem, almost all rampages occurred in small communities, those idealized by many as tight-knit, family-oriented, and relatively peaceable. Most shooters had histories of strained family lives, but few were products of single-parent homes. Newman thus set out to situate these facts in broad sociological context.  Here is an op-ed written by Newman on CNN.com in response to the CT tragedy.

The other sociological study we have looked at is Kimmel and Mahler's Adolescent Masculinity, Homophobia and Violence; Random School Shootings 1982-2001That study is available here.
Here is the abstract:
Since 1982, there have been 28 cases of random school shootings in American high schools and middle schools. The authors find (a) that the shootings were not a national problem but a series of local problems that occurred in “red states” or counties (places that voted Republican in the 2000 election); (b) that most of the boys who opened fire were mercilessly and routinely teased and bullied and that their violence was retaliatory against the threats to manhood; (c) that White boys in particular might be more likely than African American boys to randomly open fire; and (d) that the specific content of the teasing and bullying is homophobia. A link between adolescent masculinity, homophobia, and violence is proposed. Finally, the authors offer a few possible explanations as to how most boys who are teased and bullied achieve the psychological resilience that enables them to weather adolescence without recourse to random school violence.

Masculinity

Together these pieces provide lots of insight into the tragedy and lots of complexity. First, there is a hegemonic association between violence and masculinity in the United States. We see everyday and all day: commercials, television shows, video games, sports, our foreign policy, movies all reflect a culture that associates violence, toughness, lack of emotion with masculinity. Perhaps this association is what has fueled and continues to fuel the obsession with guns in America; it's an attitude like this, "Guns make me tough and violent and therefore a real man." When a male's identity is challenged and taken away, and he feels that he no longer matters or is no longer taken seriously then the way he sees that the culture tells him he can be taken seriously is through violence. From Newman's CNN piece,
"...once a shooter starts to talk about killing people, ostracism can turn to inclusion. Suddenly, he is getting the attention he has been craving. Michael Carneal, who killed three high school girls and paralyzed a fourth when he was a freshman in a Kentucky high school, pulled pranks, told loud silly jokes and stole CD's in an attempt to impress. None of it worked. But the day he started talking about shooting people, that began to change. The Goth group he desperately wanted to join wheeled in his direction for the first time. Carneal never thought about how his actions would destroy lives or send his neighbors into a lifetime of angry mourning. Interviewed after the shooting, he said he thought that those boys would at last become his friends. He would be asked over to their houses and they would visit him. He would be cool. He was a skinny 13-year-old with glasses, a bright boy fond of reading and terrible at football -- all he was after was another identity...Many of these young men are trying to cast themselves as stars of a movie that ends in a blaze of suicidal gunfire and notoriety. Our research on earlier shootings showed the attack is on a school because that is the center stage in a small town, where the young men can rivet the entire community..."

 Kimmel and Mahler confirm this in their research as well.  Here is an editorial by Kimmel from cnn.com.
From an early age, boys learn that violence is not only an acceptable form of conflict resolution, but one that is admired. However the belief that violence is an inherently male characteristic is a fallacy. Most boys don't carry weapons, and almost all don't kill: are they not boys? Boys learn it. They learn it from their fathers. They learn it from a media that glorifies it, from sports heroes who commit felonies and get big contracts, from a culture saturated in images of heroic and redemptive violence. They learn it from each other.
As individuals we can think about how we treat others - especially those who we don't want to accept and those who think are weird.  But we can also think about how we reinforce this idea of violent masculinity or do we work against it?  Can we embrace new masculinities? 

Mental Health
Obviously, someone who is able to shoot random people who they do not know has serious mental health issues.  However, these mental health issues exist in relation to the society that the individuals inhabit.  In other words, someone who loses his mind, loses it in reference to the cultural constructs around him.  In this case, it means that someone who is unstable mentally is unstable in a culture that associates violence with masculine identity.  So when he goes off the deep end it is a violent splash.  However, that being said, there needs to be serious discussion about how we address mental health in the United States.  I think we made it clear in our lessons on deviance that there are more people with mental health issues in prison than in mental health facilities in the United States.  And this means that 16percent of everyone in prison has some mental health issue! What happens to these people who are not getting treatment when they are released back into society?  And what resources do we have for parents with children who have mental health needs?  We do not provide help for these individuals. Furthermore, our culture believes in an extreme form of individualism that prevents a lot of sharing of mental health records with those who can help.  Perhaps this extreme individualism is also what leads to isolation of these individuals and only makes it worse for them.

Guns

We are all familiar with the second amendment in the United States Constitution. I think that first, the fascination with gun rights can be linked to cultural values that we see affecting the above: individualism, masculinity, violence and, I would add, vigilantism. The idea for many Americans is that one should take care of himself and protect himself and guns provide that protection and for males guns help to validate one's manhood. I am armed and I am tough so I am a man. My second thought here is that when the second amendment was written there was no organized military so citizens needed to own guns in the event of an invasion; that is a militia. Furthermore, guns at that time took 30 seconds to reload a single shot. A 242 Bushmaster can now shoot 90 rounds in the same 30 seconds! That is not what I believe the founding fathers had in mind. Lastly, I believe that the issue is complex as I said above. That complexity is extremely hard to pinpoint, discuss and change. But in the meantime, if you can keep guns out of the hands of those who are troubled, you can prevent these shootings. Cross-cultural analysis will show that the United States has an enormous gun homicide rate than other western nations, According to an ABC news report in July,
“among the world’s 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 percent of all kids killed by guns are American kids.”
Statistically, a gun in anyone's home is more likely to injure the homeowner or someone living there than it is likely to stop an intruder. 
 Here is a radio show about how Australia reformed it's gunlaws after a mass shooting killed over 30 people in 1996.  There hasn't been another mass shooting since.  Featured on the show is the Harvard injury control center which studies and publishes about violence.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Racing Around the World, an Exhausting Feat

Trying to understand the idea of race around the world is almost as exhausting as racing around the world.  That's because race is a social construction so every culture or country has its own ideas about race and those ideas are changing all the time.Hopefully the Omi and Winert article that students read for homework illustrates this. Reflect on the Omi Reading.
                        1.What is the “one-drop” rule?
                        2.How is “race” different in Brazil?
                        3.How is this article an example that race is a social construction?

Building off the Omi article, read this vignette about travelling to Brazil:


It is hard to believe, but yes, the person's race changes as he/she travels to other countries.  Checkout how other countries classify race on each country's census.



When I was in Japan, a teacher told me that there are only 2 races: Japanese and everyone else.  But, I pressed the teacher further and found out that Japanese people have two different types of earwax among them: dry and flaky, and wet and sticky.  Historically, Japan was settled by two different groups that had these 2 different types of earwax so they see each as a subracial characteristic.  Americans would never think of earwax in this way, instead we are far more fixated with other characteristics.







Monday, December 3, 2012

Masculinity, violence and football

NFL player murder suicide is an example of the violent masculinity that our culture creates. Checkout this article.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blue Collar Stereotypes


The movie People Like Us shows blue collar people being glamorized by middle classes. One example was the “Hun Fest” in Baltimore and another example is the Yuppies who go to working class bars in the city and they call them “dive bars.” Both groups claim to be romanticizing and appreciating the blue collar life. However, when it’s finished, they go back to their middle class lifestyle and do not interact with these blue collar people. Do you find this to be condescending? Are they really making fun of these people? Furthermore, one of the speakers in the movie said that although racial and religious stereotypes are no longer accepted publicly, class stereotypes are still acceptable. For example, you could freely use phrases like “You’re so ghetto” or “That’s so white trash” and you would not get into trouble. Why do you think class stereotypes and prejudices are still acceptable in America today?

For more blue collar stereotypes visit the blue collar TV website

or Jeff Foxworthy’s website.

Or, watch this video called "Class Dismissed; How TV Frames the Working Class" from mediaed:

Can you imagine a mainstream comedian getting away with these jokes in a racial or ethnic or religious way?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Macklemore and consumerism

Checkout this video by Macklemore highlighting consumerism:

video

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Volunteer Op: Habitat for Humanity Elgin

Hello Habitat Volunteers! The following is a list of tasks we will be working on Saturday at the Habitat House and the tools needed to complete the job. (Don't worry if you don't have the tool but if you do, bring it along) If you are interested in helping out, just let me know. Questions? Call me at 847-922-8276 We could use some strong teens as well. Over 16 only with parental consent. 1. Remove gutters and clean off dirt. 2. Bring gravel into basements - bucket provided 3. Remove woodwork and trim - crow bars, hammers 4. Dig post holes got signs - Digger provided 5. Create 2 post holes in basement for posts 6. Remove siding from entire house (timing not yet determined.). 7. Other items to be identified. THANK YOU!!! --- Laureen Reidelberger lreidelb@comcast.net

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gratitude and happiness

Close your eyes.  Think of someone influential in your life.  Now write down who thought about and why you thought about that person.


Next, check out this video from Upworthy on how this creates happiness:





Now it's your turn, call that person and read what you wrote aloud! Why not?  I think for many of us, this is difficult to do, and at the very least, it is unusual to do because we don't like the vulnerability that comes with gratitude.  Gratitude forces us to admit that we need other people; we are not just individuals in control of our own achievements.  But, that is the message we get over and over again from our culture.  And the sad part (literally) is that the resistance to vulnerability makes us feel less connected to others and less open to feelings of love and belonging.  That is exactly what Brene Brown is talking about in her TED talk.  Click on the following link to return to the post about Tuesdays with Morrie and scroll to the bottom to finish reading it and watch the Brene Brown Video.  Click here to return.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Volunteer Op: Painting at Feed My Starving Children

Hi All!  Feed My Starving Children is opening a new office in Libertyville.  Normally, volunteers there make meals to send to malnourished children around the world, but this time, they need help setting up their new warehouse.  One of my student's moms is organizing about 10 students to volunteer to paint the new warehouse on Saturday, November 3rd at 9:30 A.M.  It is preferred if students bring brushes,rollers and painting pans. Because painting is dependent on the construction schedule, this could possibly get moved back, but otherwise this seems like a great way to get some hours and have fun and really do something that will help show respect to those living with very dire conditions in other parts of our world.  If interested, check to be sure that you are available and committed then please email Mrs. Jeanne Lapp at jlchiro@aol.com Tell her you are from my class and you wish to volunteer.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sending a message about symbolic interaction...

This American Life episode 475: Send a Message had three stories that can help understand symbolic interaction.  Act 1 (about 8min into the show) is about a family that sees special meaning in a pair of knitted pants and a knitted dress.  Everyone in the family is affected by these items both physically and emotionally.  Are there items or actions that hold significance to you or your family?  Maybe it's who gets to carve the Turkey or who sits in a special chair or who gets to choose a show on tv?  This is just one family, but can you think about how certain items might might affect larger groups of people?  That is symbolic interaction.

Act 2 is about the symbolism of New York and what that means to those who live there and how that might influence them to act and think.  How might the place where you live affect the way you act and think? While this is an example of the sociological imagination, it is also an example of symbolic interaction - people from New York act and think symbolically based on their expectations of NYC.  This might also serve as an example of a subculture.  New Yorkers think of themselves differently.  They also have different norms: understanding the subway, walking, talking differently than the rest of America.  They are a subculture.

Lastly, the most powerful Act on the show was act 3 called soul sister (34 minutes into the show).  This segment not only speaks to symbolic interaction but it does so in regards to race.  This is a great example of the power of symbols in how they affect people and people's own image of themselves. 



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Community Service

Last night I went to St. Thomas of Canterbury, 4827 N. Kenmore Avenue Chicago, IL 60640. (Church: (773) 878-5507) It is in Uptown in Chicago. It is managed by Jim Eder. This was my 4 fourth time volunteering there, so I had some idea of what to expect. Nonetheless, it was still a great experience and it feel refreshing each time I do it. We left school at about 3:15 and returned at 8:15. On the ride down, I was busy thinking about all the stuff I have to do: grading, house projects, school stuff. But then as we exited the expressway and entered the city we started talking with our bus driver who was from that area. He was a retired CTA bus driver who grew up on the northside. He pointed out lots of historic places and told stories about the ares we were driving through. When we arrived at the Soup Kitchen, we jumped right into the service. First, I showed the students where to put their coats and bags and to get an apron. Then we setup the room for the dinner by placing bread in each bowl and salad on the table. Once the room was setup. Jim called us over and talked to us about the soup kitchen and the guests that they serve and what is required of us. He said there are only two rules: Keep yourself safe and act out of the goodness of your heart. After that, the guests started streaming in and he gave us each a job. I tried to help out when needed but otherwise stay out of the way so that students could do most of the service. I encouraged students to smile and be good waiters and waitresses. I washed dishes. I helped open milk. I bused the tables.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Analyzing A Bronx Tale for Sociological Themes

Analyzing A Bronx Tale for Sociological Themes Today we did the following lesson in pairs. I want students to be sure they understand and can apply the sociological themes from the movie. These are themes that will be thread throughout our semester so this is the chance to sharpen your understanding of them. Here is the lesson: If you posted about A Bronx Tale, find a partner who also posted about A Bronx Tale. If you did not post about it yet, find someone else who did not post yet. Part I: 1. Go to my blog. Tell your partner which prompt(s) you responded to. 2. Verbally, share your post with your partner. 3. Partner – Ask follow up questions. Do you need to clarify anything in the post? 4. Partner – Give feed back to partner: What parts of the post answered the prompt? What Sociological concept or topic was explained well? What should s/he clarify in the post? Switch. Reverse roles for Part I. Part II: Two partners find another post online that addresses a prompt that you two did not. 1. Discuss whether s/he answered the prompt and explained sociology. 2. Decide whether this is a good answer to explain that sociological topic. 3. Together write a constructive comment for the post. What did the author do well? What would you like clarified? What should the author be careful to not misunderstand? Continue on to another prompt together and repeat Part II when you have finished.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Good Night's Sleep (Lake County PADS)

For many residents in Lake county, IL, a good night's sleep simply means having a roof over their head. There are hundreds of homeless people living in Lake County. This may be surprising because most of us know Lake county as the home of Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Highland Park, Glencoe, Deerfield making the county the 31st richest county in the country by per-capita income, according to the 2000 United States Census. Being "sociologically mindful" as Schwalbe says, might make us think how the 31st richest county in the wealthiest country in the world can have homeless people living in it. Furthermore, Schwalbe might call us to think about how we can react to this. What could be done to help those who have no place to sleep at night? What small acts can you do that might make a difference? Look at the video posted here. Before this, were you aware of the homeless in Lake county? One of my service experiences is PADS which serves the homeless. It starts in October and usually goes until April. They are sometimes reluctant to have minors do the service alone, but maybe if you are 18 and you are mature and responsible over the phone, you can convince them to let you do it, or maybe you can convince a parent to do it with you. video
Last fall I did PADS and I worked the clothes closet where all of the guests can get a new outfit or long underwear or socks, whatever. I met this guy who said he needed khaki pants. I thought to myself that's kind of picky for a homeless guy. I found a pair of brownish pants and he said "They're not right - it has to be khaki." He went on to tell me that he works at Kohl's and they demand khaki for the uniform. I was so surprised that he had a regular job but was homeless. I didn't ask about why he might be in this situation (substance abuse, divorce, an accident, it could be anything) but I did think with a sociological imagination that I had been wrong in my thoughts about homeless people and I was really glad that I was doing something to help him. And I slept better knowing that. Here is the link to Lake County PADS.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Real Utopias: ASA Denver 2012

The theme of this year's annual ASA conference is "Real Utopias". I try to get students to open their imagination to what the possible future is 1) for themselves and 2)for the community around them. I use three themes throughout my units to develop and grow their analysis of these questions. The themes are: Sociological Imagination, Social Construction of Reality, and Sociological Mindfulness. Here is the outline of my presentation.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Human Trafficking

Many people don't realize that human trafficking or modern-day slavery is still an issue that affects tens of thousands of people. And it is much closer to home than you might imagine. The United States is the leading country of the importation of humans against their will. This is briefly touched on in the movie Crash. Here is an article written by Daniel Smith, an author and speaker. The article is called Punishing the Perps.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Dynamics of Social Class and the 99%

The 99% and Sociological Imagination….. WI Thomas, an early sociologist, wrote that each person has 4 needs or "wishes" in 4 Wishes of Man. According to Thomas, all men have four core wishes: 1) The desire for response. (love and friendship) 2) The desire for security. (economic, social, emotional, etc.) 3) The desire for recognition. (respect, position) 4) The desire for new experience. This is an interesting point of entry for a sociological analysis of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Clearly, the protesters feel their needs are not being met. While one might argue that all four wishes apply, I am going to ask you to focus on the desire for economic security. Go to http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/ Click on archives. Go to the month that your birthday is in. Select any 3 of these photos. Paste them into a new post on your blog, and below the photo explain why their desire for economic security is not being met. Use your sociological imagination to write about how the US social class system is creating obstacles to their economic security.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Service Oppportunity - May 12th Habitat for Humanity

A message from our friends at Spring of Life Habitat for Humanity: we would love to have some teen volunteers out at the Habitat renovation next weekend, Saturday May 12th. We plan to do landscaping work if we have enough teens to help. Just have them email me if they're interested. Work starts at 8am but usually are all finished up by 2pm. Lunch is provided. The house is right behind Elgin Larkin High School and pretty easy to get to. If interested please email Laureen at LREIDELB@comcast.net and please cc me if possible

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Service Op: Seed Packing at Willow Creek

This opportunity was brought to us by Uprising, a Christian group at our school"

It’s that time of year again! Time for Willow Creek’s Celebration of Hope annual seed packing event! This year we are issuing a challenge to you, our student impact community. We have committed to a two hour Impact only time slot!!! THIS HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE! During this time you will be assembling seed packs that will be used to grow kitchen gardens for families in Zimbabwe. They will provide valuable nourishment and a sustainable income. We need 650 of you to step up to the challenge! Impact’s night is Thursday May 3rd from 7-9pm in the activity center at Willow.

Saints, Roughnecks and Drugs

Watching the Freaks and Geeks episode about the students using drugs reminds me of a more recent episode at our school that illustrates the same idea. Many students were upset about the investigation this semester that lead to the suspension of many students. But it might surprise students to learn that this was actually a relatively tame investigation. Here is a podcast from This American Life about a real drug investigation in a high school in Florida. Click on the link below and click on Act Two and play.

Act Two. 21 Chump Street.
Last year at three high schools in Palm Beach County, Florida, several young police officers were sent undercover to pose as students, tasked with making drug arrests. And this, this is the setting for a love story, reported by Robbie Brown. Robbie works for The New York Times in Atlanta. (13 minutes)

After listening can you see how our school handled the investigation the way the Saints were treated in the Chambliss reading instead of how the Florida school handled it (like the roughnecks)?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Strength to Resist

Here is a list of links that will support you in this quest. videoIn the video called The Strength To Resist; The Media's Impact on Girls, the film makes the case that young girls grow up happy and excited about life and then sometime around middle school, these girls learn to become critical of them selves and their bodies. They develop an unhealthy obsession with trying to fit in to an ideal that is not real but still has been shaped by our families, friends and the media. Do you see how this image has been created and validated by US culture?

One of the girls in the film raises an important sociological question, one that we have been touching on throughout our course. She said,
It is hard to be sure I am being true to myself all the time. I think sometimes, 'Do I try to look nice because I want to? Or is it because I feel I have to?' I don't know how I make the decision about what looking nice is, or whether I do look good or not...
How do you know whether you are dressing or acting a certain way because you want to and you are being true to yourself, or whether you are reacting to all of the messages that are socializing you? What advice would you give to young girls that are wrestling with this issue?

One of the criticisms of the video was the focus on athletics as a way to get to know your own body as something more than a reflection. The idea that the film meant to impart was that your body is your own and it is more than an object. Your body is useful, strong and powerful. What are some other ways for you to accept your own body and see it's strengths and powers that go beyond athletics?

Hopefully, you can separate having a healthy body from having an obsession. Ultimately, the point is that you can have a healthy and beautiful body and healthy self-esteem even if you don't have a body that falls into the mainstream culture's definition of beauty.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Service Op: Habitat for Humanity changed from march 3rd to March 17th 7:30-4

Sorry about the change, but the Habitat For Humanity Service opportunity has been changed from March 3rd to March 17th. The plan is to start work on the house in Elgin at 8am and work until 2 or 3, so please be sure that you can leave your house around 7:15 to drive to Elgin and allow yourself until 4pm which gives you time to drive home. Please dress appropriately for this work: you will probably get dirty. Wear clothes that you don't mind ruining. I would cover your arms (long sleeves) and legs (no shorts). I would also dress for outside but then be ready to take off layers if you get warm from working. Please bring enthusiasm and courtesy to the job! I think it will be meaningful and worthwhile. If you are interested, please email our contact at Spring of Life Habitat for Humanity: Laureen Reidelberger at lreidelb@comcast.net and please let me know too.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Service Op: Habitat for Humanity March 3rd 7:30-4

If you are interested in helping with this renovation, we could use 6-10 students on March 3rd. Work begins at 8 am and usually goes till about 3-4 pm. If you are interested, please check your availability and dates and times and let me know. I will add you to the list. As of right now, you should expect to have to provide your own transportation there.

Here is a message from our friends at Spring of Life Habitat for Humanity:

In the past, we have had the please of working with students from Stevenson HS and it has always been such a pleasure. We have found the students to be hard-working, polite and fun! We look forward to another year of Stevenson HS student cooperation and have actually schedule time into our renovation plan for it. This home will again be in Elgin and is a renovation rather than a ground up build. With a renovation we face the challenge of accomplishing the goal yet ensuring that all have a positive volunteer experience. With limited space we have to employ fewer volunteers mainly for safety reasons but also so that we don't run out of work. We do not want people tripping over each other but rather working a full day knowing that they really made a difference.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Service Op: Misericordia Candy Days April 27 & 28


Misericordia Candy Days

Friday & Saturday April 27 & 28, 2012

This is not your typical "tag day", this is
Misericordia Candy Days. Be part of the more
than 12,000 people who proudly walk the streets
and stand at the store fronts supporting Misericordia.
Volunteers are needed to work the streets, sidewalks
and store fronts of Chicago and the suburbs. Anyone can do this
you simply pass out candy and informational tags in exchange for
donations. Please Volunteer two hours of your time to
make a difference for more than 600 children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities.

When I was in high school I was lucky enough to have a job at a basketball gym connected to Misericordia. I only took the job for the basketball, but what a blessing to get to know Misericordia and all it does for the residents there. I also was able to do tag days for a number of years and it was a cool experience and at the very least eye opening.

Click here for more info or to volunteer.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Service Op: Special Olympics Bocce on April 22


This is a call for volunteers for the Special Olympics event on April 22. If you expressed interest, please be sure to leave this day free and plan on 7:30 - 3:30. Also there will be a short training session the week before - maybe wednesday 4/13 after school, but I'll let you know. Lastly, if you have friends who would like to do this, you can let them know - it will be open to everyone.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Volunteer Op: Habitat for Humanity

Spring of Life Habitat for Humanity is beginning another project in Elgin. Volunteers will begin the early demolition for this renovation

1499 Erie Street,
Elgin IL

Sat 2/18

work begins at 8am

Get your sledge hammers ready.

This is a job for any skill level.

We are also in need of a lunch volunteer.

To sign up please contact: lreidelb@comcast.net

Service Opportunity: Special Olympics Polar Plunge Feb 26th


Sunday, February 26th from (roughly 11-2) is the Special Olympics Polar Plunge. This is the biggest and most important fundraiser for the Special Olympics. To participate in this you simply need to logon to the webpage for the Fox Lake Polar Plunge. Then click on the snowflake (or click here) Then click on "Start Fundraising." Scroll down and select "Fox Lake" for the event. Then follow the instructions and when you get to "team" select "Stevenson High School Patriot Plungers". When you are finished registering, you will have your own unique webpage that you can email to family and friends. They can donate directly to you through that page. They can use a credit card and you won't even have to collect money. All you have to do is collect $75 or more and you get to participate in the polar plunge and you get a free hoodie! We are participating in this as a school too! Help bring the Lake County trophy home to SHS! Here is a flyer for the Fox Lake Plunge. Watch this video to get excited about being a part of this experience. video