WCHS students give back for the holidays

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By Brandon Mattingly

Washington County High School students have been giving back to a pair of charitable organizations this holiday season. The school recently raised money for Change for Ghana, as well as House of Hope.

The National Honor Society at the high school, along with sponsors Danielle Burke and Lisa Burkhead, got the ball rolling to collect donations for Change for Ghana.
“Those students wanted to do something for the young kids in Ghana,” said Washington County High School principal Paul Terrell. “It’s not just about helping feed those kids, but it’s a curriculum issue, so those kids can have a better opportunity for learning.”
Donation jars were placed in each classroom and students were asked to contribute any money they could. Terrell said the school expected that a few hundred dollars would be donated, but after student donations and some teachers matching their students’ donations, the school raised $1,400 in one month.
The school also raised donations for the House of Hope, an organization that helps victims of domestic abuse, by hosting a basketball game involving students in Paul Bodenhamer’s advanced physical education class. The game took place on Dec. 21 for the entire student body.
“It was great to do something worldwide with Ghana, but also we wanted to give back to our local community,” Terrell said. “Coach Bodenhamer came up with the idea with his students to give to the House of Hope.”
The game was a success, with students contributing $540 in one afternoon. Terrell said giving the students time out of class Wednesday afternoon for the basketball game was a way to show appreciation for their hard work this semester, and help the community at the same time.
“Trying to really protect instruction time, we haven’t had any pep rallies this year,” he said. “This was my way of saying Merry Christmas to the students and giving them an opportunity to give back to the community.”