Tiger community connectsVisitors can enjoy an extra hour of fun at this year’s Tiger Community Event, which takes place from 3-7 p.m. Friday at Northwestern High School in Maple. The festivities are for everyone.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Visitors can enjoy an extra hour of fun at this year’s Tiger Community Event, which takes place from 3-7 p.m. Friday at Northwestern High School in Maple. The festivities are for everyone.
“We’re trying to pull the entire community together,” said NHS Principal Steve High. The free event includes food, live music, prizes, a rock climbing wall and the chance to soak a principal or two. Both High and Northwestern Middle School Principal Ken Bartelt will be featured in a dunk tank. A number of class officers have also offered to take the plunge.
Area businesses are encouraged to set up a table during the event. They can coordinate an activity for kids, hand out information about their business, or just tell people who they are.
“A lot of times I’m not so sure businesses know everything that happens at Northwestern High School,” High said. On the flip side, the principal admitted he doesn’t know every business in the district, which covers 500 square miles and encompasses 11 towns and villages.
“Come and put your name out there,” he said.
The event is also a chance to connect parents to school and provide information about the various co- and extra-curricular activities available. Coaches and advisors will be on hand to talk about everything from Future Farmers of America and Skills USA to basketball and golf. It’s an event for the whole family, High said. Those who attend are welcome to stay for the Tigers’ first home football game against Ashland, which begins at 7 p.m. There is a cost to attend the game, $4 for adults and $2 for students.
Last year’s inaugural community event was attended by more than 300 people. It is one of a series of initiatives being funded by a three year, $180,000 Safe and Supportive Schools Grant. The ultimate goal is to keep kids in school and keep them connected to school. Staff want to help students feel that “Hey, they really do care about us here,” High said.
Funding from the Safe and Supportive Schools Grant has been used to start a student leadership group. The 60 kids involved work with teachers and a motivational speaker from the Twin Cities area. One of the group’s responsibilities was to plan weekly assemblies that recognize student achievement across the board, from football to quiz bowl. Approximately 70 percent of students at the high school are involved in co- and extra-curricular activities, High said.
Grant money also funded an after school support center two days a week. Staffed by three teachers, the center was utilized on average by 12 to 18 students each session. Money was also earmarked for safety measures including hand held radios and seven video cameras, and for an in school suspension monitor.
“We were able to reduce out of school suspension by close to 70 percent,” High said. “What we’re trying to do is what we open the doors for every day, and that is to help kids be successful.”
The school qualified for the Safe and Supportive Schools grant due to a combination of student responses to an annual youth at-risk survey and out of school suspension numbers, High said. While the principal wasn’t excited to know that their statistics were less than stellar, he said the funding has had a positive effect already in just one year. Now, staff members are looking ahead to when the grant runs out. High said he hopes to find a way to continue funding the after school study center and in-school suspension programs.
“If those two things went away, it would have an effect on the student body,” he said.
To volunteer, make a donation of food or prizes or set up a vendor/business table, contact the high school office at (715) 363-2434, ext. 2000