RIPLEY, Ohio — Once high school teacher Shelby Schelling applied for a grant in early August for her FFA chapter and her school, she didn’t have to wait long for a reply.
Schelling, agriculture education teacher and FFA advisor at RULH High School, with the help of Christy Scott, recently received a $6,000 grant from the Youth Service America to fund a number of events that will serve the community. The nearest upcoming event will be a 9/11 memorial project.
Schelling said the 9/11 project will involve all students in the district and students from other Brown County District Schools in service projects honoring area veterans and first responders. The Ripley FFA chapter plans to have the Ripley School District students participate in making cards for first responders and veterans and then hand deliver them to local first responders units and veterans.
The Ripley FFA chapter will also be hosting a breakfast for all first responders in Brown County and Felicity on Sept. 15 from 8-11 a.m.
According to its website, Youth Service America is a resource center that partners with thousands of organizations committed to increasing the quality and quantity of volunteer opportunities for young people, ages 5-25, to serve locally, nationally, and globally. YSA has a reputation for supporting and promoting youth voice, youth service, and service-learning through advocacy, resource sharing, and handing out over $1 million in grants.
Students will also take part in observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Schelling said, by collecting canned foods to give to local food pantries. Several students will visit local Underground Railroad sites located in Ripley. Classrooms in all grade levels will conduct discussions about the important part King played in changing America’s history.
Global Youth Service Day, where students in the district will conduct cooking lessons for the public as well as giving out cookbooks, is also planned. The Ripley FFA Chapter and other area FFA chapters will complete an Ohio River Sweep, plant flowers in downtown Ripley, clean up trash along the side of the road and stain and repair the gazebo in the community cemetery.
Schelling said receiving the grant is a great opportunity for her students and her FFA chapter to become more involved in the community.
“I think it’s going to help our FFA chapter and community,” she said.