Teams Launched to Date:
Samoset Wildcats Sports 4 Kids
On Friday, February 28, Samoset Middle School Venture Team Wildcats Sports 4 Kids launched as the first middle school team of the year at Samoset. Owen, Jensen, Hersh, Adah, Augustin and Nathaniel showed their love of sports and empathy for their peers by putting together a plan to raise money for students who would like to play a sport, but cannot afford the costs of participating. Owen has a friend that couldn’t play sports due to the cost. Jensen witnessed a child get upset when told by his parent that he couldn’t play a sport for the same reason. Collectively, the Team felt strongly that kids who are eager and want to play a sport should be able to have that experience. They requested a small amount of seed funding to start their 50/50 raffle, however, the panelists agreed that they could use more money to ensure the success of their fundraiser.
Grateful for their own good fortune of always having the supplies they need, Surprise Supplies helps students and teachers at Samoset Middle School by providing them with school supplies. This team recognizes that having the right school supplies, in part, keeps them organized and capable of achieving good grades. The members of this team believe that all Samoset students should have the school supplies they need to be successful and that teachers shouldn’t have to use their own money to fund their classrooms with school supplies. Through their fundraising efforts, this team will stock Samoset’s “Karen’s Closet”, one of ten Karen’s Closets, a 501(c)3 organization, originally established in memory of Karen DeCisero at Johnny Appleseed School.
All Star Angels
This six-member team at Samoset Middle School is raising awareness and educating their peers about the dangers of drug addiction. They fundraise to bring in a guest speaker who will address the whole school on this consequential topic.
Sports for Youth
Sports for Youth donates sports equipment to children who have difficulty purchasing their own. They recognize that not all children have the privilege or have the equipment to play sports. They host donation drives for used equipment in various locations (including the Leominster Elks) and they are partnered with Dick’s Sporting Goods for discounts on items for their sports-themed raffle fundraiser. This team feels fortunate to be able to play sports and have the equipment that they need to do so, and they want to share that with as many youth as possible.
Few things are as heartbreaking as animal abuse. Animal shelters are vital to rescuing neglected pets and animals, but they often operate with limited resources. Helping Paws is a Samoset Middle School Youth Venture team that understands this and has therefore chosen to partner with the Sterling Animal Shelter. They decided on the Sterling Animal Shelter because it is a no-kill shelter without a time or age restriction. With their pet themed fundraisers, Helping Paws is raising the money to purchase the supplies on the shelter’s needs list. They are personally dropping off the donations and visiting with the pets in the shelter.
Help Out the Homeless
This team has a desire to help homeless students succeed academically. They are partnered with NAECHY (The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children.) The lead Venturer was inspired by his friend who was homeless and who fell behind academically. Each team member has their own unique inspiration for selecting this worthy cause.
Give a Pet a Paw
This Samoset Youth Venture team has always had a love for animals. Back in the fifth grade, Bella and Brayden raised money by selling t-shirts and donating the money to a rabbit rescue and shelter. Two years later, they formed their venture, Give a Pet a Paw, because of their growing passion to help animals. They are fundraising by making and selling more t-shirts. This time they are partnering with the Gardner Animal Shelter. They are raising money to buy supplies based on the shelter’s needs list and then they will deliver them to the Gardner Animal shelter.
Project Film is a Venture Team of sixth grade boys from Samoset Middle School. This Venture is dedicated to finding ways to help students transition to middle school. As the boys were transitioning to Samoset Middle School earlier in the year, they realized that middle school can feel mysterious and even a little scary; they really wanted to make sure other students and staff coming to Samoset from somewhere else did not feel the same way they did. Project Film makes educational videos about life at Samoset Middle School in hopes of sharing them with rising fifth graders, new students, and new faculty and staff. The videos include interviews from school leaders, teachers, and specialist teachers (such as: media, art, gym, and music). Some of their videos will be specifically focused; “Life in Middle School,” “Preparation for Middle School,” and “Things That Involve Samoset Students.” The boys hope to carry their project all the way through high school, while continuing to inform new staff and students!
Toyz 4 Joy
Knowing that foster care is a big part of their community, this group of 6th grade girls want to make sure that they are doing the best they can to help support kids within the foster care system. These girls are going to be raising money to make goodie bags full of toys, inspirational notes, and a note for the foster parents. By fundraising within the school and reaching out to the community, these girls strive to make the life of foster children better! Their ally, Chris Fedirko, who is already involved with the DCF in Leominster, helps the children to have a direct connection with the community, the foster children, and with DCF.
TIME (Transform, Inspire, Motivate, Engage)
Inspired to want to help the vulnerable populations living in the city of Leominster, this team of dedicated eighth graders has decided to start a Venture in which they created a pen pal program with the local senior residence program and are working with students at Fall Brook Elementary to create a mentoring program between the two schools. They believe that by connecting these different generations they can not only help these populations, but that they will develop a stronger community within Leominster.
2016 – 2017
Seeing the needs of their preschool students within Samoset, and knowing how important it is for kids to have role models from older students, the students of Lil’ Helpers decided they should find new ways to ensure the students success. They have decided to work with the students to get them new educational supplies and toys as well as set a time to meet with the preschoolers to set themselves up as mentors to help their growth.
Having seen first-hand the impact that Ginny’s Helping Hands has had on the Leominster community and those in need, the members of the Helping Hands Venture Team has made it their mission to help get this program the support it needs. By fundraising within their school and running their own clothing and item drives, this team hopes to continue the impact Ginny’s is having for those in need.
Let’s Evolve a Friendly Society
Ten years ago, the original LEAFS crew built a greenhouse at Samoset Middle School. Unfortunately, as members of the group graduated the greenhouse fell into disarray and most recently has been used as a supply shed. Thankfully, our new LEAFS team jumped into action to not just bring back the greenhouse, but make it even better! By cleaning and upgrading the greenhouse, they will be able to use it a source of education for Samoset students as well as donate plants to local senior centers to help bring cheer and beauty to the Leominster community.
Leominster Sports & Recreation Club (LSRC)
As students of Samoset Middle, the boys of LSRC right away noticed the state of neglect that the school’s outdoor baseball field and basketball court. As enthusiastic sports-lovers, these Venturers decided to do something about it so that future students can enjoy outdoor sports with improved facilities. Working with the City of Leominster’s Recreation Department, the students are determined to bring these athletic areas back to their former glory and help make Samoset sports great.
Beat Out Bullying (B.O.B.)
If you ask members of B.O.B what the biggest problem affecting their school on a daily basis, it’s bullying going unnoticed in the hallway, after class or at lunch. Determined to not stand idly by, these middle school students chose to stand up, speak up, and beat out bullying at Samoset Middle School. By doing research to define bullying, educating peers on its effects and raising awareness on prevention, B.O.B hopes to be the voice of victims who deserve a safe, fun environment to learn and grow.
P.A.W.S (Powerful Adolescents Working for Shelters)
P.A.W.S. Venture Team was launched in January 2012 to support local animal shelters in North Central Massachusetts. Research has shown that millions of dogs and cats are euthanized in U.S. shelters every year, and there are shelters without funding to pay vet bills. P.A.W.S. addresses these problems by creating awareness of the importance to adopt from shelters through “Adoption Awareness Day,” and hosting annual fundraisers including a “Dog Beauty Contest” and “Hat Day” at their school, donating 50-75% of the proceeds to local animal shelters. This Venture Team plans to host recruiting events every year and continue their Venture as they enter high school in Leominster, MA.
LEAFS centers on the idea of providing bird houses for the Venture team’s community. Venture team members will construct the bird houses in their Technology Education class and provide the houses for several locations, such as Samoset Middle School, Sunrise Assisted Living and potentially the walking trail at Barrett Park, all in Leominster.
Samoset Spirit Squad
This group of students plans to help their school become a community through a spirit squad. The “Spirit Squad” wants students to feel welcome and enjoy being a part of Samoset. Acceptance and belonging will be their main goal, as well as making the school a “bully-free” zone.
Book Critique Clan
This group of young people love to read and share their love for books with others while encouraging their peers to read for pleasure. As a way to give back to their community, members read to elementary students within their school and host various events and fundraisers throughout the year, including a workshop from the Eric Carle Museum’s, The Whole Book Approach, a school-wide book swap, and a Barnes and Noble Book Days event. Many of these activities offer exceptional learning opportunities, not only to help the Book Critique Clan learn new skills and better their Venture, but for all students at Samoset Middle School.
The Samoset Gazette is a school newspaper, that focus’ on reporting news for the kids of Samoset Middle School, that is written specifically by the kids. All stories are also developed and thought up by the students as well.
Teen Generational Service Venture
Students at Samoset Middle School work with Kindergarten students to create Bio-poems and using technology to print and display them.
Walking Around the World Venture
This venture aims to promote health and fitness by giving the students at their middle school a chance to walk to the country of their choice in their free time before and after school. Participants who walk enough miles to get to a specific country receive a stamp in a homemade passport, as well as a sheet of paper with facts about the country. The countries that have been chosen for this venture are based on the diverse population of the school.
Positive Pre-School Pals
This team is comprised of eight lead Venturers, and encompasses their entire E.L.L. (English Language Learners) class. As a group of students with English as their second language, they have quickly learned how important it is to know how to read. Their venture has been working to partner with a pre-school within the Samoset Middle School and serve as mentors to the pre-school students there. The team reads and performs crafts with the students, and has also held book drives throughout the year to benefit the pre-school.
Willing to Help Venture – Queriendo Ayudar
This multi-cultural Venture works with diverse elderly citizens making monthly visits and engaging in a variety of activities.
Wildcat Wares Wagon
This group of special needs students opened a school store to promote school spirit and raise money for school activities.
Classroom Learning Activities for Samoset Students (C.L.A.S.S.)
Students at Samoset started this Venture in order to provide more learning activities for their 7th and 8th grade classes. Since the extracurricular activities that their school offered were too few and too exclusive, CLASS formed to elicit greater participation from their fellow classmates in more activities.
Learning Environment Activities for Students (L.E.A.F.S)
This Venture Team designed and built a greenhouse with the help of the Center for Technical Education students, to make environmental activities exciting for all students.
Mums and Muffins
This group of special needs students practices their skills by running a bakery for school staff and often visits the local nursing home with their baked goods.