Middle School Students Help Burmese Refugees
Belk, Discovery Education and the International Society for Technology in Education announced in May that Neuse Christian Academy's Student Advance Team won the first Belk Service Learning Challenge, a program designed to help middle school-aged students make an impact in their local community. The students, in grades six through eight, designed a program to help Burmese refugees in the Raleigh area.
Program activities included hosting donation drives to collect funds to purchase basic living supplies and to hold a job fair combined with a children's carnival. Some of these refugees have found jobs while others are progressing toward employment as a result of the job fair.
Each student — Grace Black, Kayla Cook, Martin Shank and Braden Teller — received a $1,000 scholarship and Belk prize pack. They will be invited to a Belk in-store "service learning event" this fall to celebrate their accomplishments. Their teacher received a $250 award.
The Belk Service Learning Challenge awarded an additional $10,000 to the winning team for its project, which the students will use to provide English as a second language courses for refugees this summer.
Each student on the second-place team, Team Farm Swarm from John W. Ligon Middle School in Raleigh, received a $500 scholarship. Their teacher received a $100 award.
The challenge is open to all middle-school students in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Columbia, S.C., and Jackson, Miss. Learn more at belkservicelearningchallenge.com.