Student council members at Merrillville Intermediate School in Indiana helped spread holiday cheer when they worked together to collect $1,160 for a Toys for Tots program. The students were given a $25 limit each before picking out the gifts during a shopping trip. They bagged the toys, which will go to children of families in need.
A city council meeting on Monday served as a classroom for a group of Valparaiso High School students in Indiana, who attended the meeting to observe the process. Mayor Jon Costas encouraged the students to suggest ideas for the city's future as part of its visioning project.
Researching the stories of Indiana's fallen service members -- from World War I to the Vietnam War -- is not part of a class. It is the Interact Club, an after-school effort by Lake Central High School history teacher Tom Clark, a former member of the National Guard, that aims to bring the past to life for students. Principal Robin Tobias praised Clark's dedication and said what he has accomplished with the club "has been unique -- a tremendous gift with the students to have them learn and to give back."
A wax museum project at Wheeler Middle School in Crown Point, Ind., has enabled students to research, write papers and portray historical figures in costumes. Students make presentations and some perform on stage during the event, helping them build confidence, said history teacher and project creator Dennis Bunda. "It is student-centered learning. Students have said to me they have learned more from this activity than anything they have done in class," Bunda said.
Students in an Indiana elementary school have voluntarily agreed to give up violent video games and other media following concerns that such games could lead students to be desensitized to violence. Parents say they support the change, especially following the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. In four days, officials say families turned in 70 violent games that will be recycled.