Romulus Middle School students are making a major difference in and around their community. Thanks to funding provided by the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, students are learning life skill lessons and are working together on community service projects. Students involved are members of the Romulus Youth Leadership Movement, a 6th-8th grade after school program aimed at educating students on the importance of making healthy decisions. Program Coordinator Mark Edwards says “A major component of our program is to educate our members about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. We are very concerned about the young people in our community and our goal is to prevent them from going down a dangerous path in life”. Last year RYLM purchased a prescription medication drop box for the Romulus Police station, which allows local area residents to safely dispose of prescription pills.
Throughout the school year the RYLM organization focuses on multiple initiatives to help improve the community. The students involved work in teams on important issues that matter to them. During the first part of the 2014 school year the list of projects completed include: breast cancer awareness, school wide anti-bullying, Red Ribbon Week, holiday food drive, clothing and toy collection, and Christmas cards for seniors citizens.
During Red Ribbon Week RYLM students ask the student body to take the pledge to remain drug and alcohol free. Student’s sign their name on a red ribbon and receive a red drug-free bracelet and sticker. Teachers are encouraged to decorate their classroom door with the annual Red Ribbon theme. Essay and poster contests also take place during the week
The breast cancer awareness project brought in over $600 as students decorated and sold pink themed pumpkins and t-shirts during varsity football games. Gas cards were purchased with this money and donated to families in the community to help offset cost of fuel to and from doctor appointments.
All items collected from the canned food drive, clothing and toy drive are donated to Helping Hands in Romulus. They are then dispersed to community members who are experiencing hardship during the holiday season.
The New Year will be just as busy for the Romulus Youth Leadership Movement. Students are planning to host a healthy living campaign, Pennies for Pasta campaign, and continue to build a partnership with Champions Against Bullying.
The healthy living initiative will include fitness challenges, nutrition trivia, fruit and vegetable taste test, and a 5K in the spring. Pennies for Pasta is a national school-wide campaign that brings awareness and fundraising for Leukemia and Lymphoma. The campaign is ran through
4th hour classes at RMS and the class that donates the most change wins an Olive Garden catered lunch. Last year our students collected over $1,000 to be donated for research.
Champions Against Bullying teaches students how to appropriately handle bullying situations. During the school year breakout sessions will take place with those who have been bullied and also with those who are doing the bullying. It is the goal for students to take a stand against bullying rather than being a bystander.
8th grade RYLM members showcase their projects at the annual Family Career and Community Leaders of America state conference in Midland, Michigan. Students give speeches and present their display board to judges on one of the projects they have completed. Through the years members from Romulus Middle School have brought home hundreds of gold and silver medals.
To help offset the cost of the conference the leadership students are hosting an ongoing pop bottle drive. For those who wish to donate, a collection bin is located in the main office of the middle school.
Communication is the key when it comes to getting the word out about the projects the students are engaged in. They produce their own videos which are viewed through YouTube and also have had some of their productions broadcast on the Romulus community news channel. In addition, students make school wide announcements and send informational robo calls to parents and residents of the community.
Romulus Youth Leadership Movement is an essential program at Romulus Middle School that molds and shapes the youth into being productive members of society. RYLM is staffed by Betty Santo, Mark Edwards, Nicole Beckham, Rachel Jensen, Samantha Meeker and Joey Huang. They work hard to ensure their students stay true to the RYLM mission.