#StellerGives

 

November 2020

GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past nine years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

Steller Parent Group is promoting the idea of GivingTuesday as an opportunity for students, staff and families to stand together in unity with people around the world to use their individual and collective power of generosity to remain connected and make a positive difference. 

We know the people that form the Steller community are already active in our community – volunteering time and talents, fundraising and donating to causes that are close to our hearts, and stepping in wherever there is need.

Whether it’s helping a family or your neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, working on a committee, volunteering your time, or giving to causes, every act of generosity counts.

Let’s celebrate the contributions we all make – big and small – and accept the challenge to show our generosity in a variety of ways during the #StellerGives campaing starting November 11. 

#StellerGives: National Honors Society

 

Steller’s chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) is a service oriented organization.  Membership is by invitation and is open to academically inclined students who are interested in giving back to their community.  Brian Gehring serves as the NHS advisor.

This year, NHS students have focused on helping prevent food insecurity.  They have spent time volunteering with the Mobile Food Bank and the Thanksgiving Blessing event.  This valuable work has involved packing food items in boxes and lending their strong backs to the work of moving the boxes along the supply chain to those in need.

NHS students have also been able to establish and support a Steller Homework Club.  The Homework Club initiative has been valuable for students needing support with academic tutoring and to those seeking help to improve their study skills and study habits. 

National Honor Society is open to all Sophomores that have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher.  Invitations are sent to qualifying students after the completion of their first semester.  Members in good standing must attend regularly scheduled meetings and complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service.

If you think you might enjoy joining our organization, we would appreciate your support and contributions.    

Submitted by the National Honours Society

Thank you to all the students that participate in the NHS.  We are proud of the work you do to make Steller, and Anchorage a better place to live!   

#StellerGives: TPC

During a non-pandemic year the Technical Production Club is responsible for making sure all dances, assemblies, plays, and the talent show have proper sound and lighting. This includes things like microphones, music, spotlights, and stage lights.  We also help with setting up and planning some dances.  TPC meets once a week to discuss future dances/events, how past dances went, and what we need to buy/do to improve/make the dances more fun.  

TPC gives back to the Steller community by running dances which raise money for OP group.  We currently have around 20 members. 

#StellerGives: Seeds of Change

 

Seeds of Change volunteers on the far left and right, with Steller students Ezra, Eli and Logan.

This summer Alaska Seeds of Change  and Steller partnered to reclaim the Steller Peace Garden.

Alaska Seeds of Change works with young people ages 16-24 to help them develop the vocational and personal skills needed to become successful adults. Most staff initially start at Seeds as apprentices, by volunteering for school credit or through an apprenticeship program with one of our partner agencies.

The first step was building lasagna beds on top of the old weed filled beds, and from there we planted the garden and maintained it all summer. 

In addition we were able to plant about 10 apple trees that were donated from a community member (he’s also interested in adding lots more trees if the Steller community is interested). 

We harvested lots of good veggies over the summer that were taken home by Steller students and staff/apprentices at Seeds of Change.  We even had a neighborhood veggie “pirate” that would harvest things periodically.  They seemed to know what they were doing and we figured that they needed the food so we decided it was a way to feed our local community. 

One of the highlights for me was being able to support the youth in making the garden their own and helping them take on projects.

We didn’t realize that we would be running the garden in a pandemic but it turned out to be a great way for Steller students to connect in person while following CDC guidelines to minimize the spread of Covid.  Many students said that this was one of the few ways that they were able to get out of the house and see people.   

Last year we were able to acquire funding through a grant from the Whole Kids Foundation.  We are yet to determine our funding for next year’s program.  If anybody has any ideas we have estimated that about $2,000 would cover the basics of running the garden next year.     

Kelly Ballantyne

Seeds of Change 

Thank you to Seeds of Change for the important role you play supporting the youth of our community, and to all the volunteers from Steller that helped out through the summer.  

If you would like to learn more about Seeds of Change, find out how to volunteer, or donate to support their work visit their website here.

#StellerGives: Alana P.

This photo is from me volunteering at the mobile food bank on Saturday 11/21/20 in Fairview.

Hi, I’m seventeen year old Alana Rose P. I am a junior at Steller Secondary this year. For the past four years I have volunteered through the Foodbank of Alaska to help run the monthly mobile food banks in Fairview here in Anchorage. I have also volunteered at the Thanksgiving Blessing, GRIT ( Girls. Ridding. Into Tomorrow) Anchorage. This is two days out of the week for eight weeks in the spring. Most recently I have volunteered with Anchorage Teen Council, which is a group dedicated to providing an educational sex ed experiance for ASD students. We meet once a week plus extra days for teaching.

I also volunteer through Steller as well, helping with the Steller Auction, Steller NHS President, TPC member, Op Group Sergeant at Arms and Yearbook director for the Steller yearbook. I have also helped run almost every dance at Steller since my 7th grade year. 

I find it very fulfilliing to give back to the people that gave the most to me. All these programs and resources have helped me or given me people to help support me through my home, academic, and social life. I wanna help build that same community for others since I know it was the fundamental building blocks of who I am today, I feel I do that through volunteering  I know I’m making a difference in my community. 

We are so proud of all the work you do to make your community a better place! Well done Alana. 

#StellerGives: Ezra 

I did a lot of shovelling!

My name is Ezra and I am in 8th grade at Steller. This summer I volunteered at the Seeds of Change Steller garden. I did a few various tasks, such as weeding, watering, and spreading wood chips. I went once a week for an hour to leave the house and socialize with other humans. It was a good experience because it was fun and I learned some basic gardening skills. I also liked that I got to bring home fresh vegetables like lettuce and cauliflower. 

#StellerGives: Eli

We made wood signs for the gardens.

Hi, my name is Eli and I am a current Senior at Steller Secondary. I’ve been to a lot of different schools over my high school journey, and I have always tried to connect with the community as much as I could. When the pandemic began, most community events were canceled. Over the summer I saw Seeds of Change was re-starting the Steller garden, something I had never seen during my limited time at the school (I had joined Junior year). Volunteering at the garden every Wednesday over the summer gave me something to do during the monotony of quarantine life. In addition, not only did it provide me new skills in gardening I had never learned before, but it taught me soft skills such as long term planning and cooperation with others. 

Thank you Eli and Ezra for your work in Steller Garden this summer.  We are glad you enjoyed yourselves and learned something new! 

#StellerGives: Michael H.

Michael with Bill Ross, chairman of the 4th of July parade council, celebrating a successful broadcast of the special presentation.

Michael at the Food Bank.

Michael H. is a junior at Steller.  He has been involved in OP Group, TPC, NHS this year at Steller.  He has been volunteering monthly at the mobile good bank in Fairview and helped out with the Thanksgiving Blessing, as well.  This summer, Michael worked for many hours as the  video production and media specialist to create “The Special Presentation of the Veterans 4th of July Parade” which was broadcast on PBS on July 4th at 11am in lieu of the annual in person parade.  He is also serving as a current committee member of the Veterans 4th of July Parade Council. 

Michael, it is good to see you developing you skills for so many good causes. Well done! 

#StellerGives: Naomi H.

Naomi H. is a 7th grader at Steller.  This past month, she has helped out at the mobile food bank and regularly walked Maya, the service dog, to help out an ill friend.  She has also been working on assembling care packages to donate to the Pet Stop for dogs and cats with cancer.  This summer, she raised over $600 by selling items at the downtown weekend market and will use the funds to complete the baskets for her homegrown charity, Sincerely, Little Su.

It is great to see all the creative ways you are contributing to your community Naomi!

The Anchorage #BLM March was intended to commemorate the March on Washington by Martin Luther King along with many others around the country. Unfortunately, covid created permitting issues and the march took place a little later in the month.

The organizers of the march reached out to local teens to speak about how the events going on around the country had affected them. We are a member of the Jack & Jill of America organization and they presented the opportunity to our teens. Jack & Jill is involved in community service all over the nation and they encouraged the teens to speak out and speak up for what they believe in.

The march organizers wanted the teens to write about their experience and perspectives. They created a space for a few local teens to speak to their community about how the racial injustices happening were impacting them. Sentha wrote a speech and shared it with the crowd. There were about three other teens and one elementary schooler who spoke. They all spoke of their pain and how they believe that we should see each other as fellow human beings. It was powerful to have the young people encourage the crowd to love and discourage the racial injustices happening. Sadly, not everyone came out of love and Sentha was heckled while giving her speech. The crowd began chanting to drown out the negative words and raised their first in solidarity with her. It was a powerful moment.  That is when the photo was taken.

Thank you Sentha for speaking up for what you believe and being a leader in our community.

Keep checking back as we are adding to this page every day! 

Do you have a story to share? Send an email with your full name and grade and tell us about what you do, how often, how it contributes to the community and why you think it is important.  A photo would be great too (make sure you have permission to post it!).