BHS Participates in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
SUBMITTED BY BHS JOURNALISM STUDENT MAGGIE LOHMANN
After being deluged with videos in news feeds on their social media accounts, several BHS students wanted their entire school to join forces and have an ALS Ice Bucket challenge of their own on Friday, August 29, at Wayne Jamison Field.
There are various reports of when the challenge actually began, some claiming it started as far back as last winter for various other projects.
The challenge involving ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) really took off, however, when Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball star, saw a video of one of his friends on Facebook participating in an ice bucket challenge. Frates was diagnosed two years ago with ALS and lost the ability to talk and move his arms and legs, so he filmed himself bobbing his head to Vanilla Ices’s “Ice Ice Baby” and then nominated his friends. Since then, the challenge has been accepted all over the world to raise awareness for ALS.
For the student body officers who wanted to create a large scale challenge, they had to get enough faculty members who were willing to accept the proposal. The call was answered when about 30 teachers and administrators agreed to participate.
Starting on Monday, August 25, Student Council began collecting money from students during their lunches in hopes of reaching a goal of at least $500. In addition to the collection of spare change throughout the week, a raffle was held during both lunches on Thursday, August 28 to determine which students would pour the buckets of water on the teachers involved. Tickets, sold for $1 each, were drawn to assign a person to each teacher.
Student Council co-advisor Mrs. Renee Mathews said, “I’m glad we gave the kids an additional opportunity to donate by taking part in the raffle.”
To conclude the project the whole school went to Wayne Jamison Field during fourth block to see their faculty accept the challenge. An announcement was made at the beginning of the presentation that over $500 had been raised to donate to research for ALS and that Bridgeport High School challenged the faculties at all other Harrison County Schools. Then, on the count of three, students soaked their teachers for the school to see.
Many students, such as Ashley Roop and Imoni Saab said they enjoyed seeing all of the support their teachers displayed.
Mrs. Cheryl McCarthy, also a Student Council co-advisor, said, “The faculty was glad to do this for a good cause, and I was very pleased with the amount of money that the student body raised.”
This was a similar feeling among the participants. “I think it’s great. We’re like one big team, freshmen to seniors and the faculty. The teachers worked with the student body and the administration worked with the teachers,” said Mr. Ron Romeo. “I was glad to be a part of it.”
“I think it was a nice, unified event,” said Mathews.
The project was also very personal for some at the school. “My dad passed away last year from ALS, so my challenge was for him,” said teacher Mrs. Marsha Coakley. “I am very excited about the school taking the challenge and hopefully this will help someone down the road.”
The challenge also emphasized the power and impact of social media in our society. “After seeing videos all over social media, it was interesting for those few students to share their idea and see it spread through the whole school,” said junior Mateah Kittle.
Assistant principal Matt DeMotto echoed this sentiment. “I think that it demonstrates the power of social media and how it can be positive. I often have to deal with issues involving social media that relates to the school, whether an adult is criticizing another adult or student criticizing another student. But there is no denying the possibilities that social media can have for positivity and this [ice bucket challenge] is one of them.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: This was cover by Maggie Lohmann in the Bridgeport High School Journalism Department under the direction of Mrs. Alice Rowe. Coverage of this event was not assigned by Connect-Bridgeport.com. The photos are courtesy of BHS PHOTOGRAPHY who was also not assigned by Connect-Bridgeport.com.
by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on September 06, 2014 EST