Whiteland Community High School presented Sycamore Community Leadership Award

November 13 2008

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Indiana State University, the Indiana lieutenant governor's office and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs recognized eight high schools around the state today Nov. 12 for their community service work.

Whiteland Community High School students were honored with the Sycamore Community Leadership Award, a program to recognize high schools that demonstrate a commitment to community engagement.

The awards were presented as part of a week-long celebration leading up to the installation of Indiana State's new president, Daniel Bradley, who said the award represents the commitment to service found on the university's campus.

"Community engagement is an important component of the educational experience we offer at Indiana State, and we are pleased to offer this recognition," Bradley said. "I was impressed by the breadth and depth of the activities of the schools we recognized and the impact they had on their communities."

While most of the Whiteland's sponsored programs have service learning components tied to membership, most of the schools clubs and organizations conduct one major community service activity each year, ranging from service projects to fundraising for charity.

Whiteland Community was the first high school in Indiana to become a member of The League World Wide, which offers planned calendar events throughout the year to foster an interest in community service and create competition among schools around the country. Now one of three Indiana high schools in the League, Whiteland Community has been listed second place nationally and has participated in 20 of the League's events.

Approximately 500 students, or roughly 32 percent of Whiteland High School students, were directly involved in a school-related service activity during the 2007-08 school year, through organizing, planning and implementing programs.

For one of those projects, Whiteland students adopted the students of Ottawa-Glandorf High School in Ohio and raised money to replace school supplies damaged by floods. Other projects included conducting a food drive for the Inter-Faith Food Pantry of Johnson County, fundraising for high school students and their families coping with catestropic illness and a Docks vs. Jocks vs. Drugs basketball game which raised money for drug, alcohol and tobacco awareness, education and intervention programs.

Sycamore Community Leadership Awards recognize high schools whose students, faculty and staff have collectively demonstrated exemplary service to their local communities and other geographic areas between June 2007 and May 2008. Awards are based on evidence of student leadership, community impact, commitment of school faculty and staff to community service as a pathway to learning, and student involvement.

"At Indiana State, we place a high value on students learning while giving back to their community. The schools we honor, and many more throughout the state of Indiana share those same values," said Nancy Rogers, director of Indiana State's Center for Public Service and Community Engagement.

In addition to Whiteland, seven other schools earned honorable mention awards from Indiana State for their endeavors-- Roncalli High School, Indianapolis; Jay County High School, Portland; Greenfield High School, Greenfield; Rensselaer High School, Rensselaer; Maconaquah High School, Bunker Hill; Mater Dei High School, Evansville; and LEAPS Academy on the IPS Emmerich Manual High School Campus, Indianapolis.

All public and private high schools in Indiana are eligible to apply for the Leadership Awards. The deadline to apply for the 2009 awards is June 29. Community Service projects undertaken between June 2008 to May 2009 are eligible. For more information about this program, contact Indiana State's Center for Public Service and Community Engagement at (812) 237-2334.

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Contact: Nancy Rogers, Center for Public Service and Community Engagement, (812) 237-2474 or nancyrogers@indstate.edu

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or pmeyer4@isugw.indstate.edu

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Indiana State University, the Indiana lieutenant governor's office and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs recognized eight high schools around the state Nov. 12 for their community service work.

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