SMITHVILLE – Practical Nursing students at the Wayne County Schools Career Center have just completed an incredible community service project raising $1500, triple the goal amount, for the Pregnancy Care Center (PCC) of Wayne County. The project, called “Penny in a Bottle” was done in conjunction with competition for SkillsUSA, a career-tech student organization providing competition and leadership opportunities to high school students across the country.
Instructors Jessica Immel and Dawn Tresch first introduced the Practical Nursing students to the services the PCC offers. Then, the students paid a visit to the PCC where they learned first-hand about the services available through the center including pregnancy support, infant loss/grief assistance, parenting classes, and even help for fathers. Parents who attend classes can earn “baby bucks” that can be used to purchase clothing and supplies for baby and the mothers from the store of items the center carries.
Karen Noe, Executive Director at the PCC, held informational presentations for Career Center students to help kick the fundraiser off and to inform them of the center’s services. She explained how the PCC operates and what the funds raised would be used for.
The group set a goal of raising $500 to donate to the center through a competition between all 27 of the trade classes at the Career Center. Students were encouraged to fill baby bottles, provided by the PCC, with change during their lunch periods. The three trades that donated the most would win: 1st place- pizza party and an early release, 2nd place- donuts and milk, and 3rd place- candy.
After five days of collecting donations, the $500 goal had been far surpassed with a grand total of $1500. Practical Nursing, Ag Mechanics, and Criminal Justice trades received prizes for being the top three donors.
“I was shocked,” said Noe. “To have them raise such a high amount. I was really surprised when they told me the amount. We’ll be able to use these funds in areas we wouldn’t normally have the money to do.”
Funds raised by the students will also be used to advertise, buy formula and clothing for parents who take classes at the center, and to update the center’s curriculum. “We conduct over 130 parenting classes a month and there is a curriculum update we need that’s about discipline and tantrums. A portion of it will be used for that. It’s going to help a lot of moms and dads,” said Noe. “It has been a humbling experience to have this generation involved.”
The fundraising process has been documented from start to finish through photos which will be used in a presentation at SkillsUSA competition this spring.
The fundraiser’s effects will be further extended with the cooperation of other local high schools which were all invited by the Practical Nursing students to join in. Dalton, Waynedale, and Northwestern are holding their own fundraisers for the PCC in an effort to piggy-back with the Career Center’s efforts.
For more information on donating to or fundraising for the Pregnancy Care Center or to tour the facility, call 330-264-5880. More information about the Wayne County Schools Career Center can be found on their website, www.wcscc.org.