West Virginia High School Awards Ceremonies

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Student Groups Receive Grants for Music and Leadership

Two worthy organizations received community outreach grants in October. The Fairmont Senior High School Polar Bear Band Boosters, Inc. received $5,000 to match $5,000 the group had raised to purchase new timpani drums.

Based in Fairmont, the Polar Bear Band is comprised of more than 100 student musicians who have performed in such venues as Walt Disney World, Music in the Mountains, the Morgantown Band Spectacular, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, Universal Studios, The Orange Blossom Festival and Citrus Bowl Parade in Orlando, Florida, and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C, as well as various parades throughout the state. The Polar Bear Band also hosts an annual fall band spectacular and performs a halftime show at each football game.

In addition to marching at various events, the Polar Bear Concert Band and Symphonic Band present special programs for the community, host traditional Christmas and spring concerts, and also participate in the school's commencement exercises. A jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble, and steel drum band help diversify the band’s umbrella of musical styles, instruments, and musicianship. These groups have performed in various schools throughout the area and with acclaimed musicians from several universities.

The new timpani drums will enable students to gain exposure to professional quality instruments and replace the ones that had been in use. A. Shawn Dunn, band director, said, “The drums we have now are about 40 years old and are in bad shape. They’re really on their last legs. These new drums will give the kids a chance to play on new professional quality equipment. A lot of our kids try out for all-state band and this will further help them prepare with top quality instruments and, overall, will make our band sound better. This will really offer a good experience for the kids.”

The new timpani drums will be dedicated at either the Christmas or spring band concert in memory of long-time band booster Tina Kaiser. For more information about the Fairmont Senior High School Polar Bear Marching Band, please visit http://www.polarbearband.org or call band director A. Shawn Dunn at 304.363.6270.

The West Virginia Association of Student Councils (WVASC) received a grant for $3,500 to help fund activities including two sponsored trips to the West Virginia state legislature, Super Leadership Day, the Summer Leadership Camp, and the National Association of Student Councils National Conference.

WVASC is an organization whose main goal is to unite student councils from West Virginia to share ideas, learn leadership skills, set goals, and make lifelong friends. Events held during the year allow students to network and gain exposure and training in various topics. The association promotes the development of positive skills for both students and advisors: leadership, participatory citizenship, volunteerism, and sound decision-making.

WVASC has a membership of over 80 middle and high schools throughout West Virginia and elects student officers yearly to govern the association. The WVASC Executive Board is comprised of student state officers and Student Council Advisors from throughout the state. These board members are a very active group that meets to plan state events and discuss issues that help the organization run smoothly. There are elected members who serve on the board, as well as the advisors of the elected state officers. These board members meet in different parts of the state throughout the year and attend conferences with students.

The West Virginia Association of Student Councils will sponsor State Legislature Days on Tuesday, February 20, 2007 for senior high students and on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 for junior/middle school students. For more information or to contact the West Virginia Association of Student Councils, please visit http://www.wvasc.org/index.html or contact Karen Donathan, executive director, at 304.545.3091.

Each of these worthy organizations will report on its activities and perhaps reap many rewards from their efforts with funds provided by the Mollohan Foundation. These endeavors are true examples of building a future for all generations.

The Walkabout Company Awarded Grant

The Walkabout Company, LLC is a film, television, and multimedia company that develops programs and resources for the classroom and general public in partnership with West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The Walkabout Company has produced quality productions for WV PBS and the classroom since 1992 when it produced its first weekly series for young people. Since that time, owners Richard Warmuth and Debra Keddie have expanded the business to develop programming for the evening/prime-time audiences. Currently, The Walkabout Company is focusing on the development of video and multimedia materials related to West Virginia’s scenic byways, the 1st Campaign, and preservation activities. The Mollohan Family Foundation previously awarded The Walkabout Company a grant to develop classroom materials and broadcast television programming for the Travel West Virginia course that is offered in West Virginia high schools. Travel West Virginia is a one-year high school elective course that combines the study of West Virginia history, geography, culture and preservation with an understanding of marketing and how the various elements combine to create the state’s tourism industry. The Walk About Company will create an interactive CD that will feature the major historic, cultural, and recreation sites from each of the nine travel regions of the state that are tourist attractions. A DVD will be created and used for interviews at major sites with destination managers, while the interviews will be representative of the major industries and attractions in the tourism industry. Print materials will be used as a guide to the CD and DVD and will include lessons and activities for the students. Finally, nine, thirty-minute broadcast quality programs will be made, with each program dedicated to one of the state’s travel regions. These broadcast programs will take viewers into the historical and cultural stories that make each region unique. The programs will be broadcast to the evening/primetime audience at least twice a year for five years beginning in the fall of 2007. The following year, the Mollohan Family Foundation awarded The Walkabout Company a grant to support the enhancement to the Metropolitan Theatre classroom website that was funded by the previous Mollohan Family Foundation grant. For more information about The Walkabout Company, please contact Debra Keddie at 304.242.8884.

Learning Advances and Enhances Doddridge (L.E.A.D.) Awarded Grant

Learning Advances and Enhances Doddridge (L.E.A.D.) is a family literacy program that motivates parents and gives them support for reading and communicating with their children. "Reading Starts with Us" is a family literacy program developed by Scholarstic Books, Inc. L.E.A.D. purchased the program in 1999 and has used it in several workshops in Doddridge and Ritchie Counties. During FY 2005-2006, L.E.A.D. served 114 children and their families by providing them with six books each, as well as conducting informational and participatory workshops for families, covering the sic reading genres important to the development of early childhood literacy skills. Since its inception in 1999, L.E.A.D. id directly responsible for distributing over 9.000 books to children and families in Doddridge, Richie, and Pleasants counties. L.E.A.D. offers the skills needed to select age and topic-appropriate books for the program. The organization has collaborated and trained teachers for all grades, reading specialists, librarians, and national and state literacy programs. This program design strengthens the parent-teacher relationship that is so important to a child’s success in school. It allows parents to experience quality children’s literature and learn about strategies that will help their children become good readers. This collaborative effort serves as an effective model and practical approach for programs seeking to promote youth development and family literacy within a difficult-to-reach subset of families in disadvantaged circumstances. The Mollohan Family Foundation provided L.E.A.D. with a grant to purchase books and office supplies for the program to support family literacy. The grant money was used to purchase age-appropriate books for ages 9 to 15 dealing with cooking utensils for two six-week sessions at the North Central Regional Jail, toys for children ages 0 to 8 years old, and office supplies to support program needs. For more information about L.E.A.D., please contact Denise McIntire at 304.873.3303.

Hundred High School Band Boosters Awarded Grant

The Hundred High School Ban Boosters has been in existence for over 30 years, supporting the Hundred High School Band Program. The organization was started by parents of band students, community members, and the band director. The Band Boosters strive to arouse and maintain an enthusiastic interest in the band program. They lend moral and financial support to the band students and director and strive to attain community support and heighten awareness of the band program while cooperating with the band director, school administration, and county administration. The Mollohan Family Foundation provided a grant to the Hundred High School Band Boosters to assist with the purchasing of new uniforms for the Hundred High School Band. The uniforms being replaced were purchased in 1987 and were in poor condition. The Band Boosters conducted several fund-raising events on their own in order to pay for as many of the uniforms as they could. Some of these fundraisers included selling concessions, a pizza sale, and community birthday calendars. For more information about the Hundred High School Band Boosters, please contact Jeanine Watson, President, at 304.775.2114.

Day in the Park WVHTCF Awarded Grant

The Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation recently helped fund "The Day in the Park" with a $5,000 community outreach grant. The West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation in collaboration with the NASA Independent Verification and Verification Facility hosts an annual event at the technology park. This year, approximately 900 seventh graders from North Central West Virginia participated in hands-on activities. During the activities, astronaut Paul Richards spoke about his flight on STS-102. Additionally, the grant funded the Traveling Space Museum exhibit. The museum brought 10 exhibits, four which were motorized, along with content area specialists to present information about various topics. By funding this experience, students enjoyed an experience that will further encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. For more information about Day in the Park, please contact Stephanie Pethtel at 304.333.6777.

American Legion Post #25 Awarded Grant

The American Legion Post #25 has a primary mission to uphold an defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred per cent Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of our association in the great wars; to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; to combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness. The organization currently has over 65 volunteer members, mainly World War II and Korean War Veterans. The establishment adopted the Doddridge County Veteran’s Honor Roll, containing approximately 3,000 names of all the veterans in Doddridge County. The Mollohan Family Foundation provided a grant that matched the amount of money earned in the community for the maintenance of the board to up to $2,000. The money will be used to redo all the names on the board and add the new ones as they are identified. For more information about the American Legion Post #25, please contact Larry Marrs at 304.873.1636.