Ice bucket challenge hits FWCS

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News release from the Fort Wayne Community Schools:

Ice Bucket Challenge Hits FWCS

(August 26, 2014) – With the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge making its way around, it was only a matter of time before it hit Fort Wayne Community Schools.

This week several schools will participate in the challenge, which began as a way to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This debilitating disease has touched the lives of many in FWCS as staff members have watched family members, friends and co-workers suffer through the life-altering and eventually fatal effects of ALS.

On Wednesday, Aug. 27, Harrison Hill Elementary and Haley Elementary staff members will participate in the challenge. Mayor Tom Henry will join in the challenge at Haley, 2201 Maplecrest Road, at 9:30 a.m.

Harrison Hill Principal Shawn Smiley and his staff challenged Haley Principal Brandon White and his staff to the task. Smiley and his staff have used this opportunity to talk to students about the positives and negatives of social media, as well as using it as an opportunity to learn about ALS.

“We’re teaching students how social media can be used to promote positive messages and have a real effect on a cause,” Smiley said. “Many students use social media to play games or talk with friends, but we want them to understand it can be used for so much more. We also want them to understand just how far messages – good or bad – can go when they are posted on social media. There are pros and cons to using this tool, and students need to understand how it works.”

Since the ice bucket challenge went viral about a month ago, the ALS Association has raised nearly $80 million. Money raised by staff members at Harrison Hill will be donated to the Stavreti Scholarship, which is named for former Northrop High School Baseball Coach Chris Stavreti. Coach Stavreti died in 2012 after a long battle with ALS.

In addition:

  • Indian Village Elementary staff will participate in the challenge at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday in front of the school, 3835 Wenonah Lane. Principal Jay Peters invited staff to participate in honor of his brother who died earlier this year with ALS.
  • Lakeside Middle School staff participated in the challenge on Monday and subsequently challenged other schools in the District to participate.
  • Jefferson Middle School Principal Jeff King plans to participate at 2 p.m. Friday at the school, 5303 Wheelock Road, along with School Resource Officer Greg Woods and Assistant Principal Adam Sirken.
  • Wayne High School Principal John Houser and Administrative Assistant Lorenzo Wims have challenged Wayne students and staff to raise $1,000 for ALS by Friday. If staff and students meet the goal, they will participate in the ice bucket challenge at 2:15 p.m. in front of Wayne, 9100 Winchester Road.


About Fort Wayne Community Schools
With nearly 31,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 51 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.

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