This 100% volunteer group supports the students and educators of Logan Township School District and actually the entire community. ACME has supported Logan Township Home & School League through its GIVE BACK WHERE IT COUNTS Reusable Bag Program.
Tell us about Logan Township Home & School League.
The Logan Township Home and School League is an organization aimed at providing enhancements for students’ mental, physical, and emotional learning. Our school district includes pre-K through eighth grade. We became a nonprofit in 2006.
We started out with a group of parents getting together and saying, how can we help the kids? Years ago, we had a lot of money coming in from the state and taxes; our school district was very lucky. But more recently, we’ve had huge budget cuts. So, we’ve had to pivot from “how can we help the kids get what they want” to “how can we help the kids get what they need?”
We don’t want to just supply books, as important as that is. We also want to provide social activities, like dances. COVID taught us how vital socialization is.
What services do you provide to the community?
In the last couple of years, we have done everything from changing the water stations to bottle-filling stations to bringing back dances. With COVID, students can’t drink out of water stations any longer, so we’re working to change over to stations where they can fill their water bottles. We’ve changed math books to math virtual programs, which cost thousands of dollars, when classes went virtual. We brought back community events; for example, we’re doing candy bar bingo this year as a community event for the kids.
We were able to bring back after-school clubs for hundreds of kids this year.
We’ve brought back after-school clubs, seven in the fall semester, and we’re working to do the same in the spring because all our after-school clubs were eliminated due to budget cuts. Without after-school activities, we noticed children started getting involved with the police a lot, and we don’t want that. We were able to bring back after-school clubs for hundreds of kids this year.
What sets you apart from other nonprofits in your community?
I think it’s the fact that we are listening to the kids when they tell us what they need, and people are so willing to give back. A couple of students actually came to my house the other day and asked if we could get certain books for the book fair. My response was, yes, we’ll make that happen.
Some kids at the beginning of the school year told us there were not enough bike racks available because they were all taking bikes to school now. So, we worked with the school to get more bike racks.
We’re listening to what the kids need, and the teachers need. We’re getting direct feedback. We’re not trying to figure it out on our own. The teachers asked for a coffee maker, and we got them a coffee maker!
Now that they’re back in class, they do have different needs than they did before, and without fundraising for so long, we weren’t sure what we could do. But we’ve fulfilled all teacher and student requests.
And businesses like ACME have really helped. We were able to host a field day where parents and grandparents could come and watch the kids do outdoor activities. ACME supplied popsicles for everyone.
Please tell us a story that illustrates the good work of your organization?
COVID flipped our world. Our schools and our state completely shut down. I know a lot of states stayed open, but ours did not. It went completely virtual. And even when we came back last year, it was with mandatory masks. It was a tough situation, and we all worked together to do some things during COVID that were extra special.
We wanted to spread neighborhood and school love and pride, even without being in school. That really started us on a great path.
For Teacher Appreciation Week, there was no school, but we sent out paper apples. And everyone decorated their paper apples and put them on their windows. So, when teachers drove by, they saw almost every building in our town was decorated with apples to show their appreciation. Then we got the idea to keep going. We did gingerbread men, and everyone put them in their mailboxes. Kids would go find and collect them. For art class, we sent out paint kits. Kids painted rocks and left them all over the bike path we have in town that goes between all the houses.
We sent chalk to all the teachers who had the kids do a zigzag or a spiral in front of their houses. And as kids went on walks, they would do an obstacle course by tracing all the different obstacles that the kids put out. Every neighborhood you went in had something in the windows or something on the sidewalk.
Sometimes people needed love. We had a couple parents die of COVID, so that’s when we did teddy bears in the windows. We wanted to spread neighborhood and school love and pride, even without being in school. That really started us on a great path.
What is your most outstanding achievement or contribution to the community?
I think it’s our newest achievement. Going back a decade, our town had a Spring Fling every year. Last June, we brought back this community event, and it was the first town event in four years.
Over a thousand people came, despite a morning bear-sighting report that nearly cancelled us! We had free activities, free games, free crafts and free prizes. And then we did fundraising with a raffle. The whole community got involved in donating raffle items. Food trucks came and donated a portion of their receipts to our fundraising efforts. We had only four months to put it together from when we found out that we were going to be able to do it. It was a challenge, but so worth it.
What do you want people to know about your organization?
It takes a village. It’s not just us; it is everyone, including local businesses like ACME. It is the local food trucks coming to our rescue. It is the parents when we had to do outdoor gym class, they were out there with them. I had a neighbor that doesn’t even have kids out there doing gym class with my son Mitch just because it takes a village, and I was in here doing math with my daughter Mia. We have an enormous number of volunteers; everyone has really stepped up.
How are you using the funds you’ve received from the ACME GIVE BACK WHERE IT COUNTS Reusable Bag Program?
One hundred percent of the funds raised through the ACME GIVE BACK Bag Program will go straight to the afterschool programs for the spring. For the fall, we were able to support seven clubs, and we’re trying to do as many for the spring.
Published February 8, 2023.