BY: BEN MASSEY
Community Problem Solvers is an extracurricular club at Luxemburg-Casco High School. Each year, we pick a prevalent issue in our community and brainstorm and implement solutions to address it. We then document our work and submit it for competition. This year, our team was comprised of nine members: Ben Massey, Lexington Nell, Emily Johnson, Trevor Bader, Callie DeGroot, Malaki Wessel, Kirsten Massey, Alysha Ihlenfeld, and Dakota Bader and three coaches: Sandy Ehren, Christy Vincent, and Heidi Bader.
In this year’s project, titled “Be Excited About Reading” or B.E.A.R., we worked on literacy. We chose literacy because some Primary School teachers shared their concern that students were less advanced in basic skills than in previous years. Also, Luxemburg does not have a public library. This makes accessing reading materials more difficult. To help with access to reading materials, we created thirteen Little Free Libraries (LFL) in public locations. People can take and leave books from these bookcases for free. They are located at St. Joseph Parish in Champion, St. John Parish in Luxemburg, St. Mary Parish in Luxemburg, St. Paul Parish in Ellisville, St. Therese Parish in Pilsen, Anna’s Healthcare in New Franken, Helping Hearts CBRF in Luxemburg, Oak Creek Assisted Living Home in Luxemburg, TenderHearts Learning Center in Luxemburg, Stodola’s IGA in Luxemburg, the Luxemburg Laundromat in Luxemburg, Steele Chiropractic in Kewaunee, and the Village Kitchen in Casco.
We were also involved in numerous activities at the Primary and Intermediate Schools throughout the year. We participated in Literacy Night, Reading Support Parent Partnership Meeting, Family Reading Night/Troll Story Night, Read Across America, Read Across the World, Drop Everything and Read Day, and the Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day movie night. We also read at TenderHearts Learning Center, Anna’s Healthcare, and Helping Hearts CBRF.
We worked with the Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County as well. This group tutors adults in the community who need help with reading and writing. We advertised the group’s services and recruited tutors. These, along with various other community activities, constituted B.E.A.R.
For our efforts, we placed first at the 2015 Wisconsin Future Problem Solving State Bowl in April in Green Lake, Wisconsin. In June, we placed first in the senior division Education category at the 2015 Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI) International Conference in Ames, Iowa. We are thrilled about our success at FPSPI IC and are greatly appreciative of the program for recognizing the work we have done. We are also grateful for the participation of the community and school staff in completing our project.
Through the year, we have opened our own eyes to the importance of an educated and literate society and encouraged others to feel the same way. We have been active in the community for about twenty years and hope to continue our community service work. With the support of our community and school staff, we can make a difference and improve the lives of others for the better.