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The 2013-14 Danville North Ridge Middle School Scholastic Bowl Team has been selected as the inaugural winner of the IESA's “One Team” award program, as voted on by the IESA Official's Committee. The award, which is open to any IESA member school team, is designed to recognize the generosity and selflessness that is commonly on display by so many within the Association.
"Each year, IESA member school teams sacrifice their time to make a difference off the field and this award is a way to showcase and recognize those efforts," said IESA Executive Director Steve Endsley.
The application process requires teams to submit media demonstrating their efforts, a recommendation from the school administration or community leader, and a team mission statement. Teams interested can volunteer their time within their school or out in their community.
"We here at the IESA could not have been more pleased with the initiative shown by so many of our member schools," said Program Administrator John Venerable. "Every applicant should be proud of what they have accomplished."
The Danville North Ridge Scholastic Bowl Team was involved in a community service project designed to increase water safety education following the drownings of two Danville children in 2013.
The school program, entitled the "Liquid Lifesaver Project", has helped to provide CPR training and certification for those in District 118. Several IESA and IHSA coaches have become CPR certified through the free classes offered by the program.
Initially created by 15 North Ridge MS students, the program was developed after researching the causes of drowning, studying the local population and environment, and compiling data into a project which could be financed and implemented by students at the school. Four members of the Scholastic Bowl Team were members of the initial project. The passion of these students in helping to reduce the risk of drowning in the community is what encouraged the entire Scholastic Bowl team to contribute and take the program to the next level.
"The 'Liquid Lifesaver Project' is a program that will have a significantly positive impact on our community," said Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhaur.
The program is also designed to offer water safety education to all of the North Ridge elementary feeder schools as well as both middle schools. Well over 500 man hours have been devoted to the project.
"They have worked to help clean up the Stony Creek area in preparation for another school's Color 5K Run to ensure families would be safe from debris left by recent flooding," said North Ridge Principal Chris Rice.
The North Ridge Scholastic Bowl team's efforts recently led to the removal of several local dams that were publically referred to as "drowning machines". On top of this, the entire North Ridge Scholastic Bowl team has committed to becoming CPR certified to further the project’s goal of creating a community of first responders.
"We have strongly encouraged these students in taking the lead to identify educational opportunities which will minimize loss of life," said Eisenhaur. "We are excited about their early findings and know that through their leadership, significant progress will be made in reducing future drownings or near-drownings."
"So often, students are quick to identify concerns or problems within their community, yet rarely do they set out to do something to rectify those challenges," said Eisenhaur.
"This group of students is the exception."
Danville North Ridge MS will hold an assembly on Friday, September 5 at 3 p.m. to recognize and honor the members of the scholastic bowl team.