By Dr. John Sample
While many things lay dormant through the winter months, our school district and community have certainly remained active. There are great things happening in our community and the opportunities for involvement are plentiful.
The “Freedom Pen” Project
PRMS teacher Pete McConnell has created a project that promotes community involvement, patriotism and civic responsibility for his eighth grade students. These students are creating beautiful “Freedom Pens” which will be presented to the 94 veterans participating in the 29th Never Forgotten Honor Flight on May 22. The pens are individually hand crafted from a variety of types of wood. The project itself is a culmination of support from parents, teachers and other members of the community.
This project started with a $1,000 grant from the “Beyond Crayons and Computers” program through the Merrill Area Community Foundation. Other contributions were granted by the Merrill Lions Club, Brews Brothers Pub (Gary & Stacey Hanson), Wendorf Construction and Wendorf Bus Service. Also, a big thank you to Yurgen & Ruth Ann Markewycz and David & Sarah Wendorf and family for their recent donations!
For more information on how you can be involved with supporting the Merrill Area Community Foundation, please contact Renea Frederick (President) at 715-297-9984. For information on Merrill Lions Club membership, please contact Denny Knott (Past District Governor) at 715-536-9208.
MAPS Summer School
To say that our Summer School program is new and improved for this year is an understatement. Over 30 courses are offered for students in 4K through 8th grade and there are approximately 15 courses available for our high school students. Summer school will be in session for four full days per week, Monday through Thursday for three weeks. Transportation will be made available for pickup and drop off sites. It also includes free breakfast and lunch. Classes are scheduled to begin June 12-29.
The high school sessions are scheduled to begin June 14-30, five days per week. Classes will run in half-day, 3-hour sessions in the morning and afternoon. Strength and conditioning class will take place from 6/12-7/28 with four different times for which students may choose.
Not to be outdone, the School Forest is offering two, one-week courses and one, three-day camp. Students will remain at the School Forest beginning Monday morning and ending their week on Friday afternoon. The boys Wilderness Camp is from July 10-14, the girls camp will take place July 17-21 and the 3 day Camp Conditioning for young men and ladies is happening July 25-27.
All registration periods opened on March 30.
For more information, please contact Trisha Detert at 715-536-2373 (Grades 4K-8), Brad Potter at 715-536-4595 (Grades 9-12) and the School Forest at email address firstname.lastname@example.org for their week-long camps. More information is also available on the website: https://sites.google.com/maps.k12.wi.us/summermaps/home
Building Merrill Together Program Series
Great things are happening at T.B. Scott Free Library as citizens are gathering information, discussing topics and planning for positive change in our community. A variety of topics are discussed and presentations are provided by area leaders. Topics range from mental health to economic development to citizen involvement. The public is invited to participate in the planning meetings and, of course, attend the programs offered. The next program is April 10 at 6:30 p.m. and is titled “21st Century Merrill: Change vs. the Same in Small-Town America.” The next planning meeting is Tuesday, April 18 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All events are held at the T.B. Scott Free Library.
For more information, please visit www.tbscottlibrary.com or call 715-536-9171.
MAPS Great Speaker Event
I am pleased to announce Monte Stiles as this year’s presenter for MAPS Great Speaker event. As a former state and federal drug prosecutor, Monte is a nationally recognized speaker on drug policy, law enforcement, youth leadership and maintaining safe communities. His message is powerful and is filled with hope, inspiration, community and resiliency. His first speaking engagement takes place on Friday, April 7 at 8:30 a.m. in the PRMS Auditorium followed by his next presentation at 1:30 p.m. in the Merrill High School Fieldhouse. The public is invited to attend either of his presentations.
The Great Speaker Forum Committee consists of community members, MAPS personnel and middle school/high school students. The program has been operating for approximately 39 years and is entirely community funded. Special thanks to this year’s donors: PRMS Student Council, Church Mutual Insurance Company, MAPS Administrators, Kiwanis Club of Greater Merrill, Eagles Aerie 584, Weinbrenner Shoe Company, Eagles Ladies Auxiliary, Reindl Printing, Inc., Merrill Teachers Association, Lincoln Community Bank, Park City Realty, Tomahawk Community Bank, Social Topics Club, Riverside Athletic Club, Waid Funeral Home, Gleason Lions Club, and VFW Auxiliary. Thank you!
Unfortunately, our funding still has a deficit of $200 for this event and no balance for our next speaker in 2018. Your assistance is greatly appreciated for this worthwhile experience. Please contact MAPS Central Office at 715-536-4581 if you can help. Thank you in advance!
It’s obvious to me that Mother Nature will have to work pretty hard to create a Spring bloom that can parallel the hard work happening on so many levels in our fine community!