The saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
In the case of all Delavan-Darien School District students, they have a village, a city and seven towns helping out.
Countless volunteers, parents, business personnel, churchgoers and kind-hearted people spend countless hours and give countless resources to help raise the community’s kids.
Schooling is a partnership between the students, the staff, the parents and the greater community. This partnership is vital to the successful education of the approximately 2,400 enrolled Delavan-Darien students. The partnerships are growing here, daily.
Today, we’re highlighting and saying “thank you” to some of the organizations and individuals who help make those successes happen. And we apologize to those who, for space considerations, didn’t get the well-deserved “ink” here. They, too, are worthy of our many thanks along with those listed.
Groups of mostly parents make up our Athletics Booster Club and our Band Booster Club, which support our sports and music programs. They coordinate fundrisers that have kept our athletes safe and looking good on the playing fields and sent our musicians to sites far and wide to study with world-renowned educators.
Delavan-Darien Community Alliance
A group of organizations have been meeting to find new and improved ways to educate the community about poverty and advocate for those in the community in poverty. The group is creating a strategic plan to help meet goals that will ultimately better the community and schools in a variety of ways. At the meetings have been officials from the city of Delavan and village of Darien, Community Action Inc., the school district, Head Start, Open Arms Free Clinic, ResCare/W2 program, SAFE Families, UW-Extension, the county health and human services department, the county job center, the county housing authority, and 10 area churches.
Haircuts from the Heart
Hair stylists Dawn Salas and Katie Moser started offering free haircuts to Turtle Creek Elementary students whose families struggle financially for such services. We’re hoping to grow the service this year.
CTE/Fab Lab partners
A Career and Technical Education (CTE) Support Committee exists to improve the STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) programming we offer our students. The committee includes reps from Gateway, Precision Plus, Mode Industries, Continental Plastics, Micro Precision, SPX, Vision Plastics, Better by Design, Scot Forge, Walworth County Economic Development Alliance, City of Delavan officials, retired teachers and others. The group is working on getting a “Fab Lab” started at DDHS this school year, complete with 3-D printers and other state-of-the-art technology.
SAFE Families volunteers
Community members and some DD staffers volunteered with SAFE Families to provide temporary guardianship to some of our students. These volunteers kept students safe and sheltered when they might otherwise have been homeless.
CLC program supporters
The grant-funded 21st Century Community Learning Center — an after-school program at Turtle Creek Elementary — had plenty of volunteer educators come in to do projects with the students in the program. They included the Department of Natural Resources, Aram Public Library, Delavan Park and Rec Department, George Mroch (a master gardener), UW-Whitewater’s Character Education staff, UW-Whitewater Nutrition and Science department personnel, UW-Whitewater’s Young Auditorium, the Walworth County Health and Human Services Department and UW-Extension. Their work provided valuable enrichment activities for our district’s learners.
Dozens of community members volunteer with our elementary-level READS Program. Weekly, they come in to mentor and read with children to improve literacy skills and build friendships.
Papa Murphy’s, Little Cesar’s, McDonald’s, Chili’s and others have often held fundraisers for our schools, from discount days, to having staff work some of the shifts for a percentage of the day’s proceeds. These gifts help the district provide services to students that might otherwise have been reduced by budget restraints.
School supply donations
Wal-Mart, Blackhawk Community Credit Union, Golden State Foods, Harvestpoint Church and the Delavan Service League are among our biggest school supply donors each year. These supplies stock our Comet Care center shelves so students can have the schooling materials they need every day. The donations go beyond school supplies and are often of the “life supply” variety, including clothes, hygiene items, and games.
The Delavan-Darien Foundation and other scholarship donors
At the 2015 DDHS Graduation, seniors earned $148,500 from local scholarship donors (too many to list here). The scholarships managed by the DD Foundation totaled $64,000. These local sources were a part of nearly $1.17 million in total awards going to our graduates (including outside sources).
Summer Feeding Volunteers
Several area churches, including the Delavan United Church of Christ and the First Baptist Church, provided youth free breakfast snacks in Phoenix Park and other popular locations this summer. The group also provided healthy snacks for the DD Bookmobile as it made weekly rounds.
Blessings in a Backpack volunteers
Volunteers at Wileman Elementary make sure students don’t go hungry on weekends by coordinating the Blessings in a Backpack program. These volunteers pack bags of food for students from low-income families to take home on Fridays after school. Area churches, including Sugar Creek Lutheran, Luther Memorial, First Baptist, Christ Episcopal, Faith Baptist and the Delavan UCC, are raising funds and finding volunteers to start a similar program at Turtle Creek this coming school year.
Phoenix students and staff made clay soup bowls, and local restaurants made delicious soups to fill them for a fundraiser that benefitted area food pantries this year. Expect another tasty event this school year!
Creedence Counseling providing counseling services for students.
UW-Whitewater student tutors at DDHS.
Darien EMS and Darien Elementary PTO providing funding for classroom Casualty Car Kits (and training).
Mercy Health Systems providing physicals and Casualty Care Kit Training.
Delavan Police Department and Walworth County Sheriff’s Office providing school building and perimeter walk-throughs, and K-9 locker searches.
Seal a Smile dentists and hygienists applying free teeth sealants to students.
The American VFW and Daughters of the American Revolution inspiring patriotism through essay contests.
The Blood Center of Wisconsin holding blood drives at DDHS with the student council.
Multiple field trip destinations and chaperones giving students unforgettable off-campus learning experiences.
Volunteer coaches and advisors giving time an expertise to our sports and extracurricular clubs.
ExxonMobil providing math and science grants
Reality Day volunteers helping teach students through “the game of life.”
Service Organizations and the new DAYS Foundation (run by Julie Supernaw) providing community service opportunities.
And many more!