YAC became an intergenerational service council. http://www.casady.org/podium/default.aspx?t=29893&rc=0. It stood for You-nite A Community. Its mission was to motivate Cyclones to find their passion to help our local, national or global communities and support their efforts.
When? Where? How many times did YAC meet?
YAC met six times in 2011 and four in 2012. From September to January: Mondays during B-block in conflict with STUCO, Environmental Club and Advisories. From January to May: Fridays during B-Block in conflict with the sport schedule. Students received service hours for participating in meetings aiming to support or implement service projects. Hours were certified at an assessment meeting in January and YAC members were requested to make appointments for final reflection and certification of hours in May. Hours from January to May are still to be reflected.
What did YAC do?
The first YAC project was the International Day of Peace. It was a school wide awareness of the 11 days of global unity(http://www.wetheworld.org/) from September 11 to September 21 (International Day of Peace: http://internationaldayofpeace.org/) . YAC had a SKYPE conversation with International Day of Peace creator, Jeremy Gilley about his global initiative PEACE ONE DAY (http://peaceoneday.org/).
YAC and the service-learning office collaborated with the Oklahoma City University’s International Day of Peace Festival. Pinwheels in Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese were made in UD Foreign language classes and planted around our lake the morning of 9/21 http://pinwheels-4-peaceinlanguageclasses.blogspot.com/). Pinwheels were donated to the OCU festival in the afternoon. The Casady Pinwheels found homes at non-profit organizations around town. Khadija'12 was the YAC facilitator for the International Day of Peace Festival at OCU. She planted pinwheels and distributed Six Billion Paths to Peace t-shirts at the OCU festival. YAC connected to the UD chorus and orchestra and arranged for inspirational chapel performances in honor of the International Day of Peace. The Program Director and the President of San Francisco based Shinnyo-en Foundation visited with YAC members around campus on 9/22. The Shinnyo-en Foundation provided Six Billion Paths to Peace (http://www.sef.org/projects/six-billion-paths-to-peace/) t-shirts for all divisions in 2011 and for Middle, Lower and Primary division’s out of uniform in 2012 in celebration of the International Day of Peace (http://serviceapathtopeace.blogspot.com/). The service-learning office brought Hope Trunks to all divisions from the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum and the 5th grade classes made "May Peace Prevail on Earth" mandalas and planted a seedling of the survival tree in front of the middle division on 9/21.
The second YAC project was the Casady Cans Do Food Drive, Nov 7-11, a collaborative effort between YAC and STUCO http://cyclonesagainsthunger.blogspot.com/ . Chandler'12 and Zainab'12 facilitated this project. Per YAC request, Casady service-learning provided transportation for Cyclones to volunteer @ the Food Bank on Saturdays from the first week of October until November 12 when Cyclones sorted donations from the Students Against Hunger Food Drive. Casady Upper Division donated 5,052 cans and $563.07 providing 6,368 meals to hungry Oklahomans during the winter time. On November 12, 2011, YAC and OKC volunteers @ the Food Bank packed 770 cases of food with 22,438 meals for hungry Oklahomans resulting from the citywide Students Against Hunger Food Drive.
In October, YAC members also collaborated with the girls’ volleyball team’s Dig Pink Volleyball (http://www.side-out.org/tag/dig-pink-volleyball/) project collecting over $3,000 to help breast cancer research. Cassidy'12 was the YAC facilitator of that collaboration.
REFLECTION: The first three YAC meetings of 2012 took place in the month of January. YAC reflected hours and planned our MLK Day of service (http://mlkday.gov/). Our guest speakers the week before MLK Day were Casady youth leaders with inspiring service projects: Knitting for Troops, Sow Love, and Land of Children, Global Education Service-Learning Project in Ollantaytambo, Peru. YAC also hosted MD and UD speeches by Dr. Cheryl Steele on steward leadership. Dr. Steele was hosted by YAC member, Emily B'12.
MLK DAY: YAC collaborated with Chandler and her Knitting for Troops project and offered the opportunity to the Upper and Middle Divisions of making care packages for soldiers from 9:00-11:00 at the Student Center on January 16, MLK Day. 26 people participated in the MLK Day 2012 service opportunity. Chandler sent over $3,000 in carefully selected goodies to Oklahoma soldiers in Afganistan with inspirational notes made by MD and LD students in each package. Chandler received heartwarming thank you notes from soldiers from time to time. Her project was made possible due to grants from Do Something.org. In April, Chandler was surprised as the receipient of a $20,000 scholarship to college from Do Something and Footlocker Scholar Athlete Program.
February meetings were very short, but brought new opportunities for YAC to make a difference. Cassidy'12 hosted Aly Akers, a former state, regional, national, and world champion baton twirler. She is currently the feature twirler at OSU, where she is a Business/Pre-Law major and is also Miss OSU. Aly will compete in the 2012 Miss Oklahoma Pageant in June. Her platform for Miss Oklahoma is P.A.S.T. – Prevent and Stop Tormenting, is an anti-bullying campaign. She speaks to schools throughout the state on behalf of P.A.S.T. Aly spoke to the Upper Division during Chapel. Aly also shared a few minutes with YAC students who attended the YAC meeting after a YAC picture with Aly was taken. YAC made Aly feel so welcomed, she stated that if she were a teen, Casady would have been her high school of choice. More information about Aly’s project at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/PAST-Prevent-And-Stop-Tormenting/162854593764584.
In February, Khadija'12 and Zainab'12 decided to collaborate with the Respect Diversity Foundation Annual Symbol Exhibit. They reflected on making a mural depicting YAC's interpretation of the Charter for Compassion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wktlwCPDd94 . The project did not become a reality because the administration did not grant permission for YAC students to meet 3-lunch times and B-blocks to view the Charter, discuss ideas, and create the mural under the facilitation of artist and CEO of the Silence Foundation, Mrs. Patt Webb. The service-learning office transfered Mrs. Patt Webb's services to Mrs. Crossno's 7th grade classes and provided a $500 grant for the MD SEE Program since 7th grade English and History students were involved in this service-learning project in the curriculum.
Finally in February, YAC collaborated with STUCO at the Make A Wish dodge ball tournament. See pictures and videos of the tournament at http://casadyyac.blogspot.com/2012/03/stucos-make-wish-b-day-party-for.html. YAC entered TEAM PEACE with proceeds generated by the Fall Fest fundraiser. Service-Learning bought food for TEAM PEACE members to support STUCO fundraiser for Make a Wish at the tournament. YAC also sold left over candy from the Make a Wish fundraiser at the UD and MD during A and B blocks. Blake'13 was the YAC leader of this collaboration.
AprilNational NYLC Conference: In the month of April, YAC member Salman'14, junior Alex and STUCO member Shiva'14 attended the NYLC Conference in Minneapolis. http://casadyyac.blogspot.com/2012/04/national-service-learning-conference.html . The focus of the conference for the Casady group were attendance to academic rigor service-learning, and youth leadership in peace and green initiatives to implement at Casady next year.
National Volunteer Week-April 15-22: YAC presented a full set of activities to the administration to turn National Volunteer Week into a fundraising week similar to BALTO or SWINE week in other schools. The ideas were generated by freshmen YAC members under the leadership of Jessica'15 and Rebekah'13. YAC was only allowed an off of uniform and an ice cream celebration on Friday during B-block. The Service-Learning Office ordered and delivered Presidential Service Awards on Friday, April 20th. The CPO and Environmental club sponsored the celebration as students were also encouraged to ride a bike to school or carpool as part of Earth Day celebration. Zainab'12 was the YAC facilitator of this connection.
Global Youth Service Day-Earth Day; April 20-22: As part of YAC's celebration of Global Youth Service Day, Salman'14 represented YAC and the Environmental Club at Earth Day Nichols Hills Festival. Salman advocated "green living" by motivating participants to take carbon footprint surveys. YAC members also volunteered at Rebuilding Together Work Day and the YWCA race to stop sexual violence during Global Youth Service Day. Finally, YAC collaborate with YAC member Seondre'15 Eagle Scout Project as he replaced 18 windows at a Rebuilding Together home. http://casadyyac.blogspot.com/2012/05/may-service-in-okc-community.html
In May, YAC collaborated with Emily B.'12 and her Relay for Life Project. http://casadyyac.blogspot.com/2012/05/relay-for-life-2012.html. Salman gave the YAC Relay team its name: You-nited Against Cancer. Service Learning made a financial contribution and invited teachers and YAC members without a team to join. Salman, Mrs. Clay, Mrs. Linn, Mr. Stonestreet, Mrs. Seitter, Miss Detering, Mrs. Small and the security guards on duty attended the Relay for a few hours or the whole night sponsored by the YAC team. The 2012 Relay for Life surpassed its goal of $30,000 for cancer research. The Relay 2012 had 233 participants, 23 teams and raised $32,174.
Also in May, senior YAC members made celebratory goodie bags for Presidential Award Winners led by Zainab'12 who made lovely bows for each bag. The goodies in the bags were courtesy of the CPO and were delivered on May 16, 2012.
s the final official YAC act of the year, YAC member Sidney'15 represented Casady YAC and Youth Lead OKC at the TIDE Conference in Boston during Memorial Weekend. See Mrs. Clay's reflection of TIDE @ ,http://casadyyac.blogspot.com/2012/05/tide-2012.html