• 39°

Panagos’ students give Pack-A-Care kits to homeless

Junior Trevor Stewart, from left, senior Masi Barnes and sophomore Gracie Poehlman and classmates in multimedia design made Pack-A-Care kits. These Bob Jones High School students also write for "Patriot Pages." CONTRIBUTED
Junior Trevor Stewart, from left, senior Masi Barnes and sophomore Gracie Poehlman and classmates in multimedia design made Pack-A-Care kits. These Bob Jones High School students also write for “Patriot Pages.” CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Instead of just complaining about problems, Brandy Panagos’ students in an ‘advisory session’ took the initiative to help homeless individuals who frequent the library in downtown Huntsville.

Bob Jones High School schedules ‘advisory sessions’ during first-block classes. Students talk to teachers about topics in or beyond lesson plans, Panagos said. Sessions have a specific focus, and teachers are ‘intentional’ in discussions.

Teachers mentor in character development and discuss time management, studying tips and ‘soft skills’ for future careers.

During one ‘advisory’ with multimedia design students, Panagos suggested using “this time to help others,” not talk about it. After brainstorming, students decided on Pack-A-Care kits for the homeless.

Panagos remembered former students Ben Ewing and Sarah Buckelew’s mini-documentary on being homeless in Huntsville. “We watched it so students could better understand the problem,” she said.

Many students “were so entrenched in the comfort of Madison suburbia that they just didn’t understand the reality of (homelessness) or its proximity. Viewing the mini-documentary really helped them put local faces to the problem,” Panagos said.

For two weeks, Panagos’ class made Pack-A-Care kits by filling plastic bags with nutritious snacks, gloves, socks, toboggans, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, hand sanitizer, combs and baby wipes.

They coordinated the project with archival librarian Susanna Leberman, an interviewee in the mini-documentary. Leberman gave Pack-A-Care kits to the library’s North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless representative, who has an office there. The coalition especially helps homeless veterans.

“I’m not sure a bunch of zip-lock bags is going to make a big difference but, for a few minutes for two weeks, my students thought of someone other than themselves and empathized with a segment of population that’s easy to ignore,” Panagos said.

Senior Emily McDowell said the mini-documentary showed her “the actual amount of people who are homeless. Even the smallest things we take for granted could really help someone else.”

Senior Paige Fisher said a “solution comes through taking the initiative to put words into action, in an ‘actions-speak-louder-than-words’ way.”

Discovery Middle School

Gifted Specialists fill broad needs of 20% of students

Madison

Mill Creek Greenpower Team motors to first place in Oxford

James Clemens High School

James Clemens Competition Cheer Team takes fourth state title

Madison

The celebration continues: Madison Street Festival awards grants to 16 Madison educational programs

Events

The Loomis Brothers Circus returns this weekend

James Clemens High School

Wyche earns full-tuition scholarship from Cameron Education Foundation

Madison

ReadyFest returns to underscore need for preparedness

Madison

Winter Knights Chess Tournament sets record attendance

Harvest

Delta Sigma Theta plans exciting evening with ROUGE – A Go Red Event

Events

Burritt on the Mountain to host Shane Adkins for Coffeehouse Concert series

Bob Jones High School

Sponsors essential to achieving Madison Street Festival’s traditions

Madison

Registration opens to vie for seat in pre-kindergarten

Huntsville

Former doctor from Madison sued for overdose death

James Clemens High School

Donaldson piloting James Clemens as Acting Principal

Madison

Discovery of woman’s body in Hazel Green leads to investigation of possible murder-suicide

Huntsville

Rookie Rally Chess Tournament returns to Blossomwood

Huntsville

Arts Huntsville awards $280,000 in grants to area arts organizations

Bob Jones High School

Nichols’ podcast reflects on MCS’ 25th anniversary

Madison

Regions Bank on Madison Blvd robbed again

Madison

JAN. 20 DEADLINE: Madison Visionary Partners asking for nominations for first annual MVP awards

Madison

Damaging winds, flooding possible tonight

Madison

Community remembers Donald Spencer’s public service

Madison

Water main break postpones Bob Jones vs. Austin basketball games

Madison

Library sessions to offer backyard planting tips to novice gardeners

x