Students of Julianna Lile’s World Literature class helped with a service-learning project. They include, front row, Lexie Rains, Laura Johnson and Heidi Buxengard; second row: Jayme Lenning, Spencer Dunn, Kaitlin Bratland, Julie Sand and Desi Otterness; third row: Caleb Happel, Kyle Lee, Hank Hegge, Jack Benson, Rachel Petersen and Salome Hagelstein; and back row: Kody Olerud, Matt Schleich, Tanguy deMonval, Isaak Solum, Amber Franzen, Tara Solberg, Julianna Lile and Caleb Rose.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
Students of Julianna Lile’s World Literature class helped with a service-learning project. They include, front row, Lexie Rains, Laura Johnson and Heidi Buxengard; second row: Jayme Lenning, Spencer Dunn, Kaitlin Bratland, Julie Sand and Desi Otterness; third row: Caleb Happel, Kyle Lee, Hank Hegge, Jack Benson, Rachel Petersen and Salome Hagelstein; and back row: Kody Olerud, Matt Schleich, Tanguy deMonval, Isaak Solum, Amber Franzen, Tara Solberg, Julianna Lile and Caleb Rose.

Learning positive lessons from a classic piece of literature is what a class at Spring Grove High School did this past December.

Julianna Lile's World Literature read Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." They also attended a live performance at the Commonweal Theater in Lanesboro.

In this story, Tiny Tim's character along with the lessons that Scrooge learned along the way inspired the class to find ways to help others during the holiday season.

Lile took this spirit of giving and help and created a service-learning project for the class. The students were divided into teams where they had to come up with an idea and plan for a service/charity project.

"The students had many great ideas and did a very good job at presenting their ideas and telling why they thought their idea was important and should be chosen as the service or charity project," commented Lile. "It was hard for us to make a final decision."

The class decided to tweak one of the ideas a bit, and students would buy gifts for kids in need in Houston County. They decided to work with Houston County Care and Share and to focus on gifts for teens.

"The Care and Share committee told me that it is often hard to shop for gifts for teens and so who better to buy gifts for teens than teens themselves?" added Lile. "Our class came up with some quick, last-minute ways to raise funds, and we were off and running."

The students asked for donations during a couple home basketball games and the holiday band concert. They also planned two special days for the whole school - Hat Day and Ugly Christmas Sweater/Silly Christmas Outfit Day. Students paid $1 to participate in the special days.

A penny war was also conducted. During the Penny War, the teams collect pennies in a jar, and the team collecting the most money was the winner. Teams could "sabotage" their opponent by putting silver coins or bills in their opponent's jar and that subtracts that amount of money from that team's total.

This war was between the elementary and high school students with the elementary students being the victors!

With their fundraisers, the World Literature students were able to raise a little more than $550!

About half of the amount came from the special dress-up days and penny war at school while the rest came from the donations collected during the games and concert.

The students also had some items donated.

The money collected was divided between a couple students who then went shopping for gifts for teens.

They bought items such as movies, footballs, lotions, perfumes, socks, gift cards and more things. They had enough money to get items for at least 20 teens.

"The students really enjoyed this project and are already talking about doing it again next year and how they will start earlier to raise funds. They were excited to see how much support that they got from the community. Maybe next year, it'll be a whole school project!" added Lile.