Students Compete to be Named “Heineman Apprentice”

There may be no celebrity contestants like on the Donald Trump TV show on which its based, but the students participating in Heineman Middle School’s “Heineman Apprentice” project this week all came off as stars.

The “Apprentice” project, now in its third year, is part of the literacy curriculum for Heineman’s 8-1 Team. In it, students work in small groups to research their favorite nonprofit organizations in preparation for presentations to gain awareness and support for their organizations.

The top teams from each classroom competition advanced to pitch their organizations to a panel of three volunteer judges. Each of the judges—Nicole Bowman, Julie Peterson, Barbara Harrity, and Silvana Cantagallo—has experience in fundraising and working with nonprofit groups.

According to Dede Cravens, eighth-grade literacy teacher, the activity not only inspires students to learn about organizations doing important work, but also provides hands-on experience with research, persuasive writing, technology, and public speaking.

“Through this project, we hope to inspire our students to learn about social issues, cultivate empathy for others, and to take action in support of worthy causes,” she said.

Prior to the final presentations, eighth-grade students held a jump-a-thon fundraiser, the proceeds of which will go to the organization represented by the winning team. The prize, yet to be determined, has totaled up to $1,000.

The winning team will be announced on Thursday. They will get the chance to present the check to representatives of the organization at a ceremony later in the spring.

Read more about the program in the Daily Herald, and view more photos on the District 158 Facebook page.