EAST Lab students at VHS working on projects to help others.....

VHS East Lab students are using their time and talents to help others.

During a recent East Night Out, students shared about 25 projects and ideas as well as plans for reaching their goals.  Most every project had more than one student working on it. However, there was generally just one spokesperson for each while others stood in the background.  As well, some students said they are working on more than one project.

“There’s about 65 in EAST,” said sponsor Erin Rappold. “About 60 of the kids are here tonight with about 25 projects.”

Students Lauryn Kimbrell and Brooke Gober have launched a donation drive. They hope to supply all of the schools with clothing, toiletries and the daycare with diapers. Many students, Lauryn said, have an overage of clothing while others may have to “wear the same thing every day.”

“I have a lot and I want to share,” Lauryn said, adding that there are other students that feel the same way. This is an opportunity, she said, to help others. 

Elliott Bender is using his talents to turn some slides into digital copy for a Vilonia resident.

Matt Harris and Cassidy Carter will dish up the latest Eagle News at VHS with weekly announcements and video that will be playing in the hallways and cafeteria.

An East Conference crew are readying for the event to be held at the Hot Springs Conference Center, explained Kinley Barnes. The Vilonia crew showcased the booth, they will man there, which has a theme of “friends.” 

More than one group showed their entries created for the Vilonia Parks and Recreation logo contest.  The design presented by Stewart Prosser and Josh Freeman is truly based on a sporting theme while some lean in other directions.

John Marcotte presented a 27-second entry into a Big Pitch Film Contest pitching the dangers of smoking that his team produced. 

Aaron Fuller revealed a game his team created for students in kindergarten through third grade that promotes teamwork, coordination and problem solving. 

One team of students plan to hold a fundraiser they are calling “Rock the Nest” with some of the proceeds going to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the rest going to a fellow student Andrew Sees—fighting a battle with leukemia. It is to be held May 6 and 7, in the high school parking lot and will include music. They plan for it to be “kind of like Eagle Fest,” they said.

Bailey Madison and Haley Ashcraft have launched “Operation Bench.” They hope to provide some outdoor seating for students waiting on rides. They have teamed up with the agriculture students, they said, regarding the building and plan to have four or five in place by the end of the year.

Julius Price is collecting “kid-based” books to donate to the school libraries.

Jordan Holloway, Kaitlin Lowe and Courtney Winn are promoting reading, especially to their younger peers, by creating posters for the Freshman Academy.

One project being shown by a student was a water bottle filling station “H2O ON THE GO,” that kind of “works like a refrigerator door,” and takes less time and there’s no mess. You can buy one for about $2,000, he said, or opt for the one the student was showing at a cost of about $75.

Stormy Martin and Roman Fisher were displaying posters with a message to “Keep Calm and Graduate 2016.” They were hawking about the importance of graduating high school.

A bullying video was the project of Mercedes Smith and Mallory Jones. They hope it will be used during orientation and assemblies.

Casey Williams and Summer Hensley have safety on their minds. They have made preparedness brochures and will distribute them throughout the community. On the brochure, one can find the rules and regulations for area storm shelters and a map showing where the community storm shelters are located.

Aidan Ratliff and Jeremy Kendall have revamped the parking permits for the school.

Star Martin, Samuel Fay and Jordan Jamieson are advocating for a Vilonia animal shelter to be called “Helping Paws” to include 25 dog kennels and cat kennels for 38. They plan to take their idea to the city hall and ask for help to make it a reality.

Spencer Coffman, Irvin Mendoza and Gage Johnston are turning their talents to helping with a football team fundraiser—a weightlifting competition. They have created posters and forms and the date is set for April 29, at the football field.

Lauren Rappold, Alec Williams and Cierra Gardner hope to spread a message about the dangers of drug use to sixth graders. Being high school students, they hope they can make an impact on their younger peers. A power point in hand, they plan to take their message to the classrooms.

One team is refurbishing two signs denoting the Nature Trail. Their target is completion by spring break.

Danielle Hood and Matt Harris are working on a seven-second commercial for the Eight Mile Store. It is to be placed on the gas pumps regarding the store’s deli, bathroom and snacks. They hope to have it done by mid-March.

Tye Johnston, Chris Bass and Cameron Mitchell are advocating for new curriculum to be added to the district. The students said, beginning in pre-school, they believe the school district should teach sign language. They have also created a slide show and hope to begin visiting classrooms kicking off the project.