“We worked with members of the Lab School’s student council to coordinate a penny war and raise funds through dress-up days,” said Tara Luck, Northwestern State’s student body president. “Some of our representatives talked to the students about helping St. Jude and explained that the hospital helps many children their same age. They were so enthusiastic and have so much energy.”
Luck said Florien School, a K-12 school in Sabine Parish, also participated by bringing in $1 to dress out of uniform on a casual Friday. The schools’ combined efforts raised $1,863 to benefit St. Jude’s.
Working with the E-Lab and other schools not only gave the university students a chance to interact with younger school leaders, it also helped broaden fund raising activity outside the university community, Luck said.
“The whole school participated,” said Jackie Crew, NSU E-Lab student council co-sponsor. “The day the SGA came over, they talked to the boys and girls about student council in high school and college and some of the things they do on campus. They talked about leadership and skills you learn through student council and why it is important to stay involved.”
“They talked about how being on student council helps with scholarships and college classes,” said fifth grader Kailyn Kendrick, student council historian.
“They told us what they do with student council and how we were going to help St. Jude,” added fifth grader Claire Spann, E-Lab student council co-president.
Lisa Bostick’s fifth grade class won the penny war. Students also paid a fee for dress up days that included crazy sock day, crazy hat or hair day, team spirit day, spirit shirt day and Northwestern State spirit day, according to Emma Gruesbeck, fifth grader and co-president.
Activities to benefit St. Jude were part of student service initiatives held statewide at University of Louisiana System schools. This year, the UL System's Student Advisory Council, comprised of student government association presidents, selected St. Jude as the recipient of their Students Strong in Service program because of the number of Louisiana citizens served by the organization. Louisiana sends more children to be treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital than any other state except Tennessee and houses two of the six St. Jude affiliate clinics in the United States, Luck said.
The service initiatives complimented fund raising and awareness projects organized through Northwestern State’s Up ‘til Dawn organization, a student-led, student-run program hosted by more than 180 colleges and universities nationwide.