Kremmling " West Grand COLA students aim to improve community | SkyHiNews.com

Kremmling " West Grand COLA students aim to improve community

West Grand High School students in the Community Outreach Leadership Association (COLA) awarded grants totaling $5,500 at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 14.

COLA students split up the duties of presenting the grant awards and each gave a brief overview and description of what COLA is and what the organization accomplished throughout the school year.

The students contacted the secretary of state as well as the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce for names and addresses of nonprofit organizations in Grand County that might qualify for grants. A total of (50) letters and applications were mailed in November 2008.

Students formed committees within COLA to review all applications. COLA members contacted the finalists for in-depth interviews and then sent letters to those selected and declined for grants.

Impact projects

The mission statement COLA students developed for the 2008-2009 school year was: “Strengthening the Kremmling and Grand County community through grantmaking and community stewardship. West Grand COLA members are dedicated to improving the non-profit organizations of Grand County in the areas of health, education and family services.”

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As a manifestation of that mission, COLA students took it upon themselves to complete a major Community Impact Project. They eventually decided to help Children’s Hospital in Denver with a toy drive.

As part this project, students built two “school buses” to act as toy boxes. A “bus” was put in the high school and one was put in the PK-8 school. Students also made posters and hung them around town.

An informational letter was mailed to all high school students outlining the toy drive project. COLA members gave oral presentations to the elementary and middle schools to get all students in the school district involved.

As a result, students collected more than 400 new toys and took a trip to the Children’s Hospital, where they were given a tour of the hospital.

A second project proposed was to raise funds to help Third World countries sponsor a clean water source. COLA teamed up with ZAO hydrating humanity. Students contacted ZAO in Clemmons, N.C., and arranged to have ZAO T-shirts sent. These T-shirts were sold on behalf of ZAO and all proceeds were given to them.

The students were involved in a third community project as well. Each year the West Grand High School has a Pre Prom Fashion Show in April before the actual junior-senior prom. The junior and senior COLA students participated in the modeling portion of the show.

The freshmen and sophomore students made all of the advertising fliers, wrote up biographies for the master of ceremonies, ordered flowers and made up the tickets for the show.

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