Milton-Stateline Students Bring Passion to School Project

June 15, 2020 | Education | Karista Bradley

Three 11-year-old girls in eastern Oregon are already making an impact in their community. 

At the beginning of the 2019–2020 school year, students of the fifth and sixth grades at Milton-Stateline Adventist School were challenged to choose a “passion project” (something of personal interest) to work on for up to 20% of class time. The only parameters were to “choose something they were interested in learning more about or trying out” and submit a timeline for steps in project completion. 

While other classmates chose art, writing and computer projects, Emma, Alana and Jaylene decided to do a fundraiser for a local homeless shelter, the STAR (Successful Transition and Reentry) Project, as their 20% project. Emma says she chose a fundraiser for the project because “I like planning stuff like that.”

As Emma began to research and plan, she got two other classmates involved. “Planning something big like that was a lot for one person to do," she explains. "I was glad that Alana and Jaylene helped.” She says they selected the STAR Project specifically “because it seemed everyone was giving to the main homeless shelter in town. We saw how small it was and we wanted to help them.”

According to their website, the mission of the STAR Project is “to provide persons being released from incarceration with the essential tools to successfully re-integrate [sic] into the community as productive, contributing members.”*

Throughout the quarter, Emma, Alana and Jaylene collected food, warm clothing, baby items and toys. They also organized a movie night through which they raised $447 by selling hot drinks, popcorn, candy and baked goods.

The STAR Project thanked the girls profusely and sent a handwritten note, which said, “We are absolutely amazed (and humbled) by your kindness and generosity. Congratulations on your fundraising success!”

Looking back, Emma says, “It was a lot of fun. And the look on their face each time we delivered things and just knowing it would help someone … it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Makes you appreciate what you have [and] not take things for granted and how lucky we are. I definitely hope we can do something like that again and that they can get all the help they need during this difficult time.”

Teachers Jeanne Goodhew and Jan Hendrickson are proud of their students for demonstrating the kind of love Jesus taught.