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PLTW Community Celebration Awards: Celebrating Exemplary Actions!

Every day, members of our communities rise to meet unexpected challenges. From children, to parents, to caregivers, and businesses we have all been asked to step up and become leaders. We’ve faced and pivoted to adapt and grow through our everchanging world due to unforeseen events that effect our daily lives.

No action is too small, together our impact is large.

Your actions should be recognized and celebrated. Our communities are the foundation of our society, and we stand stronger together. Project Lead Way (PLTW) is proud to celebrate diverse communities and its members who exhibit collaboration, leadership, and entrepreneurship in service across the nation.

As a result, we have created a new recognition platform for communities the PLTW Community Celebration Awards. The intent of the PLTW Community Celebration Awards are to recognize communities who have come together to care for each other in times of need. Join us in celebrating the following communities this month!

Gibson County Community Foundation, Princeton, Indiana

Hooray for the Gibson County Community Foundation located in Princeton, Indiana, for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient! Princeton Community Intermediate School, located in southwest Indiana, serves nearly four hundred students in grades 3-5 from the North Gibson School Corporation. To help remove the barrier for a high-quality education created by poverty, the school, with funding support from the Gibson County Community Foundation, designed a project to give students essential reading tools – high-quality fiction and nonfiction books to read during extended closures. Read more about how the North Gibson community is working to ensure all students have access to a quality education here.

Learn more about their story!

Indian Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio

Cheers to Indian Hill in Cincinnati, Ohio, for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient! Indian Hill Exempted Village School District serves 2,175 students and 1,400 families in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio. The community puts STEM education at the forefront and encourages students to use their knowledge and skills to make a positive impact inside and outside the classroom. The community has implemented initiatives like a high school club that recruits female STEM leaders for projects, a financial resource program for families in need of technology for remote learning, food delivery, rent assistance during the pandemic, mental health resources through local partners, and more. Read more about how the community is continuously working to empower and support students and each other here.

Learn more about their story!

Fairchild Wheeler Campus, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Cheers to Fairchild Wheeler Campus in Bridgeport, Connecticut for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient! Students and faculty joined together this school year to give back to the Bridgeport community. They collected nearly 1,000 pounds of food for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission through a Thanksgiving food drive and collected more than 100 gifts and donated them to a childcare center for lower-income families. Read more about these initiatives and the impact to the Bridgeport community here.

Learn more about their story!

Grenada School District, Grenada, Mississippi

Congratulations to Grenada School District in Grenada, Mississippi for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient! As the pandemic grew closer to home in 2020, the district ensured that students would continue their education and formed plans for virtual, hybrid, and traditional learning. From drive-through graduations to safe summer camps to a flexible food distribution program, the district celebrated student achievement and met their needs. Read more about how the district worked with the community to support students and their families here.

Learn more about their story!

Peekskill-Town of Cortlandt, Westchester County, New York

Hooray for Peekskill-Town of Cortlandt community in New York for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient! From the day schools shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the community focused on the immediate needs of families, especially ensuring that students who were served meals at school continued to receive that critical benefit. The community also focused on health and safety, and digital equity, as well as fitness and fun! Read more about these initiatives and how Peekskill-Town of Cortlandt is continuing to support their community here.

Learn more about their story!

City of Muncie, Muncie, Indiana

Hats off to the City of Muncie in East Central Indiana, for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient! Muncie Mayor implemented two new programs with funds from the federal CARES-ACT to assist Muncie residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. These two programs provided free masks to those in the community who need them and funds for rent and utility assistance. Read more about these programs and their impact on the Muncie community here.

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Woodrow Wilson PLTW Academy of Engineering and Computer Science, Dallas, Texas

Let’s celebrate Woodrow Wilson PLTW Academy of Engineering and Computer Science for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient! For nearly a year and a half, the Woodrow Wilson STEM Academy – settled in the Dallas Independent School District in Dallas, Texas – has supported their community through a variety of efforts. Efforts include hosting a full day of STEM activities as part of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Dallas Design Your World initiative and hosting a FIRST Tech Challenge Tournament for 32 Dallas-Fort Worth area robotics teams, as well as partnering with another area school and the greater community to launch cross-campus project teams during spring 2020 in response to distance-learning challenges. Read more about how Woodrow Wilson PLTW Academy of Engineering and Computer Science is supporting their community here.

Learn more about their story!

Northwest Indiana Schools, Northwest Indiana

Cheers to a group of schools in Northwest Indiana for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient! When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, a graduate of Crown Point High School in Crown Point, Indiana knew a local health network. He helped organize a partnership across five school districts in Northwest Indiana to produce and supply face shield frames to donate to a local hospital. Read more about how these districts came together to support their community here.

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Lakeland Community Church and Delavan-Darien School District, Delavan, Wisconsin

Hooray for Lakeland Community Church and Delavan-Darien School District for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient! Delavan-Darien School District supports nearly 2,500 students in grades K-12. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many families were struggling and unable to provide basic items such as school supplies for their children. Nearby Lakeland Community Church saw a need and stepped in to help. The church congregation worked with the greater community, including several local businesses and more than 100 volunteers, to coordinate a “Backpack GiveBack” event, which provided backpacks full of school supplies to the students in the district, as well as much needed clothing items and haircuts. The initiative also provided meals to families from local restaurants through gift card donations and disposable masks for educators. Read more about how Lakeland Community Church and other local churches and businesses continue to support students in the Delavan-Darien School District here.

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Hoboken Public School System, Hoboken, New Jersey

Cheers to Hoboken Public School System for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient! When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Hoboken Public School System, which serves just over 3,000 diverse PreK-12 students, administrators and staff rolled out a plan to ensure all families and students were informed, engaged, and educated. Efforts included immediately deploying Chromebooks, Verizon Internet Jetpacks, and supplies to ensure that all students could participate in a rich remote learning program, using Google Classrooms to post daily video lessons, Zoom-based individual and small group support, and social emotional learning days. The district also created a YouTube Channel so that anyone from the community could engage in virtual activities. Read more about how Hoboken Public School System continues the support for the 2020-21 school year as learning is fully virtual here.

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Jackson Middle School, South Bend, Indiana

Congratulations to Jackson Middle School for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient! Jackson Middle School – located in South Bend, Indiana, and serves 16,302 students from the northern Indiana city – stepped up to support their local healthcare workers at St. Joseph Hospital.  After reading an article about students creating facemasks using a 3D printer, the school’s PLTW coordinator engaged a team of teachers, administrators, and students, as well as a local community partner, to design, create, and distribute CAPR Helmet clips to a local hospital. After weeks of hard work and much perseverance, the students were able to print the clips and provide the hospital with the desperately needed equipment. Learn more about how the school developed the idea, partnered with local businesses, and ultimately helped healthcare workers obtain effective PPE that allowed them to focus on caring for their patients here.

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Elkhorn Area School District, Elkhorn Wisconsin

Hats off to Elkhorn Area School District for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award Recipient! Located in the rural town of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, serving nearly 3,500 students in grades PreK-12, Elkhorn Area School District stepped up to support their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights of their efforts include providing free lunch service to the greater community including residents outside of the school district, staying connected with families through personal phone calls from the district, and partnering with local businesses to create and supply Free Little Pantries placed around town for community members to donate food items, masks, and hygiene items for those in need. Learn more about how the school district and greater community are working together to support each other here.

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City of South Bend and South Bend Community School Corporation, South Bend, Indiana

Hooray for the City of South Bend and South Bend Community School Corporation for earning recognition as a PLTW Community Celebration Award Recipient! Located in northern Indiana, the South Bend Community School Corporation and the City of South Bend developed an innovative way to give Wifi access to the approximately 30 percent of students in the community without access to reliable internet prior to the COVID-19 pandemic – wifi enabled school buses. Due to the pandemic, the community ramped up their efforts to provide additional school buses to assist students with virtual learning. Learn more about how the community continues to grow this initiative and increase digital equity for all students here.

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Community of Warsaw, Kosciusko County, Indiana

Congratulations to Warsaw Community Schools on being recognized as a PLTW Community Celebration Award Recipient! Warsaw Community Schools, a district in northern Indiana serving approximately 7,000 students from the communities of Warsaw, Winona Lake, Claypool, and Leesburg, received multiple nominations that highlight the efforts of students, school staff, and the community. Some of these efforts include raising money to purchase gift cards for families in need, making masks for essential workers, and partnering with local organizations to get much needed services and products donated to community members. Read more about how their students, teachers, and communities are making an impact here.

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Orange Public Schools

Three cheers for Orange Public Schools on being recognized as a PLTW Community Celebration Award Recipient! Orange County Public Schools, located in Orange, New Jersey, went above and beyond ensuring accessibility for remote learning to supporting local initiatives. The Orange Public Schools community sought innovative ways to stay connected and give back during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic – and they continue to do so by providing information sessions in multiple languages to ensure caretakers have the tools they need to support learners at home, incorporate virtual field trips, and many other initiatives to make sure their community stays connected. Learn more about how their community came together in support of each other here.

Learn more about their story!