By Kandra Shadle
and Shea Yost
The Clinton County Community Foundation continues to bring hope where there is despair in our community by offering grant monies to local coalitions and organizations to benefit the people of Clinton County.
The Foundation is known for its generosity and community outreach and has been providing substantial grants to various local charities since 1968.
IMPACT, a local coalition that has been embraced by the non-profit West Branch Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission, continues to brainstorm initiatives to help combat detrimental issues facing our youth such as drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, racism, and negative peer pressure while promoting tolerance, inclusion, communication, compassion, and kindness in our schools. IMPACT and West Branch have been a team since 2012.
During the 2018-2019 school year, two Central Mountain seniors joined IMPACT as part of their senior project. Taylor Miller and Emma Persun worked diligently throughout the school year, attending meetings and organizing fundraisers such as the CMHS All-Night Volleyball concession stand and the CMMS Spring Fling. The girls were vital to the group having yet another successful year. Taylor is now a freshman at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University’s Main Campus studying accounting while Emma is a freshman at Kutztown University majoring in graphic design.
With the generous grant amount of $8,700 from the Clinton County Community Foundation, and the hard work of these two former CMHS students, IMPACT was able to bring PC Rocks to Central Mountain.
On Friday, September 20, Dr. Phil Campbell, also known as PC, shared stories about his life as a coach, teacher, principal, and dad. He discussed the importance of loving each other. He gave ideas about how to improve the “look” of the school, which then changes how people feel. This can make people actually want to come to school and feel like they can have fun in school.
The day began with two assemblies at Central Mountain High School and ended with two assemblies at Central Mountain Middle School. Kids came into the auditorium and were greeted by Mrs. Onuskanich with high fives and hugs. At one assembly, there were even beach balls being hit around the auditorium to get everyone pumped up for the assembly. Sebastian Wommer, a sixth grade student at CMMS, said, “I liked the positive vibe of the assembly.”
According to sixth grade teachers at CMMS, the assembly had strong messages. Mr. Gill stated, “The message was to love each other and believe we can become better as a whole.” Mrs. Donovan said, “We need to believe in ourselves so we can achieve goals we set our minds to. We need to be more caring.” Mrs. O enjoyed “hearing PC’s story and understanding how much our school’s climate and culture can change when we open up our hearts to truly love ourselves and the people around us.” She also stated, “The sing along was my favorite part because everyone was smiling, laughing, and having fun. Watching the teachers and students sing with PC sent a message to ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ in ourselves and our school.” Mrs. Weikel said, “It is important to be kind to one another and build positive relationships. PC was inspiring.”
The things the students liked most about the assemblies were the beach balls, the stories PC shared, the sing along, and the guitar give away. At the first assembly, PC announced that he was giving his guitar to Ben Fortescue, a ninth grade student at CMHS. Ben was selected to receive this guitar because he always comes to school with a smile on his face and he treats people with respect and kindness. Throughout the day, the guitar was used for the sing alongs. At the last assembly, PC gave the guitar to Charlotte Fortescue, Ben’s little sister in seventh grade at CMMS. Charlotte also comes to school happy and she is excited for all of the things the school does. Charlotte said she was excited to be called onstage with PC and she liked the stories PC shared.
Emerson Bressler, an eighth grade student at CMMS, said, “I thought it was nice that he gave away his guitar. It showed that he cares.” Kylee Rowley, a seventh grade student at CMMS, said, “I like the assembly because it was exciting and my favorite part was when Charlotte accepted the guitar for Ben.” Harry Myers, another seventh grade student at CMMS, stated, “I like PC because he’s funny, nice, and caring.”
In addition, IMPACT will bring another powerhouse speaker to Central Mountain later this year, so stay tuned!