The month of December – – often called Advent, or “ coming”—brings more than one connotation at Lakeside Lutheran High School. As with the traditional Christian term that refers to a time of waiting for the Savior’s birth to come or arrive, the final month of a semester brings other sorts of anxious waiting for high school students, such as final grades and a welcome break from studies. Lakeside students filled the wait this year with several activities that held a spirit of gratefulness and giving back, including a bake sale, food drive, mission offerings and volunteering events.
Every last crumb was sold during a 2-day bake sale that raised $336.06 by the school’s Teens for Christ group December 6–7. Dozens of students brought in hundreds of pre-packaged home-baked goodies and sold them before school to other students and staff. Thrivent Financial added to that total through a $250 action team grant. Funds raised are supporting a VBS in Linares, Chile, in January, under the auspices of WELS Kingdom Workers; Lakeside teens bought school and other supplies and arranged for their transport to South America.
Dozens of sophomores in Pastor Clark Schultz’s religion classes have helped churches in the Madison area during December weekends. Teens volunteered at Good News Ev. Lutheran Church in Mt. Horeb and Resurrection Ev. Lutheran in Verona in their efforts to deliver goodies and invite the community to Christmas services. Other sophomores volunteered with “Christmas for Kids” weekends at Abiding Shepherd Ev. Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, where the church provided activities for community families.
On December 13, dozens of National Honor Society members and Teens for Christ helped Mrs. Sandi Corlett, the LLHS Family and Consumer Education teacher, wrap “shoebox gifts” for homeless and families in need in Madison. This was part of a larger family effort for the Corlett family. All year long, the Corletts, including four adult children and their families, gather personal care items, school supplies, toys and clothing. Sandi Corlett and others donated items, boxes, gift wrap, labels, tape—enough for 325 shoeboxes this year.
Teens for Christ also organized an all-school food drive for the Lake Mills Food Pantry that brought in more than 400 non-perishable food donations for the community. The drive ended this week and donations will be delivered in the coming days.
Student Council organized an end-of-semester mission offering in chapel on Fridays that asked students and staff to help supply an Ethiopian village whose students need school supplies and equipment. A Lakeside council member visited the village during a mission trip last summer and was able to educate the student body to the need. The effort raised over $1,000.00.
December also brought the excitement of announcing a new summer of “Operation Go” mission trip teams. Thirty-two juniors and seniors were assigned to one of six trips across the country to assist congregations with outreach efforts, including WELS churches in Alaska, Texas, Idaho, Louisiana and New Jersey. These students will spend coming months volunteering and spreading the word about the opportunity before them in order to help fund the soccer camps and vacation Bible schools they will help organize and run next June through August.
Finally, even after semester exams are finished, students in the Lakeside Lutheran National Honor Society chapter plan to Christmas carol at nursing homes in Lake Mills and Watertown on December 23. That’s a service project that always ends up being a win-win as the singers enjoy their time as much as those listening do.
The entire staff and student body at Lakeside Lutheran High School wish all those in our communities a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.
Joining over 600,000 other FFA members from across the nation, Lakeside Lutheran FFA chapter members will lead the school in a celebration of “National FFA Week” February 22-26.
Lakeside FFA members geared up for next week’s celebration by working with almost 200 kindergartners who visited Lakeside this week during the annual KinderFest day. FFA students taught a child-friendly lesson on some of the 20,000 uses of soybeans through video and hands-on demonstrations. The session ended with an FFA invitation to enter a kindergarten coloring contest.
Official FFA Week activities begin Monday. There is also a coloring contest for staff and students due in the office by Tuesday, 2/23 with a $20 gas card as a prize. All week, a daily clue will be given to find a cow eraser in a scavenger hunt, and “Ag Trivia” will be played during lunch periods; both activities offer candy bar prizes donated by the Lakeside FFA Alumni. All students are welcome to win a candy bar by entering “Ag Olympics” mornings before school in the Woods lab. Tuesday’s competition is driving a nail; Thursday’s is frozen chicken bowling; Friday brings bale tossing by the dumpsters.
On Monday, FFA members wear official dress and chapter t-shirts, and will host a staff appreciation breakfast. The chapter’s monthly meeting will be held Tuesday night with pizza at 5:30 p.m. On Wednesday, the Columbus High School FFA has invited Lakeside FFA members to Columbus to meet and greet National FFA President, Ms. Taylor McNeel, from Arkansas, as she visits Wisconsin. After chapel on Wednesday, all students receive a Hershey kiss with an ag fact card. On Thursday, a “guidance-complete” New Holland tractor will be available during Small Engine and Ag Survey classes for demonstrations in the parking lot, made possible thanks to Waupun Implement. On Friday, students are invited to the first annual milk chug during lunch.
The Lakeside Lutheran FFA chapter, chartered in 2015, has grown to 36 members who attend conferences, organize service projects, and develop skills in projects related to animals, plants and natural resources. Members can compete in career development or judging events in areas such as veterinary science, dairy products, floriculture and livestock.
As students at Lakeside continue to prepare for their futures and eternity, the FFA theme for the year uses Luke 10:2 “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” as a dual reminder–both for the need for gospel outreach and also the need for workers in the field of agriculture and natural resources. According to a Purdue University study sponsored by the USDA, 54,400 annual jobs exist for college graduates in the areas of food, renewable energy, and environment.
According to UW-Madison, agriculture accounts for $88.3 billion of our state’s economy and 413,500 jobs. With most people now being 3-5 generations removed from “the farm,” FFA helps to educate others about where safe food and stocked shelves fill the connection between the “farm to your fork.”
Designated in 1947 during the week of George Washington’s birthday for his legacy as an agriculturist and farmer, National FFA Week aims to share the advantages of FFA membership. Common myths that are that members must live on a farm or are required to show at a fair. The reality is that any student can join at any time by contacting an FFA member. FFA is the world’s largest youth organization, creating leaders who explore careers through ag and technical education. From its start in 1928 in Kansas City, MO, with 33 young men, National FFA now offers a variety of awards, including over $2.1 million in scholarships annually