WENATCHEE — WestSide High School in Wenatchee takes Make a Difference Day to a new level, extending it a month and in some cases all year.
“Every October in that class, we have Make a Difference Month. We all come up with different activities throughout the building," said Principal Kory Kalahar. "Each grad team leader throughout the building works with those kids on those individual activities.”
The school has been doing it for three years and it just keeps growing, he said. It keeps the kids civically minded and active with some actives on campus and others off-campus.
“We’re doing everything from positive rock painting, used clothing for the hope chest, trash clean-up around the campus, positive quote board for students here, collecting pet food, used blankets and towels for the Humane Society,” Kalahar said. As part of the Lunch Buddies program, students go to Newbery Elementary School once a week.
Kalahar said he is leading a program where kids write notes of kindness and put them on cars in the parking lot. There are also kindness bowls, a food drive and cards to Vietnam veterans.
“The students that wrote those letters to veterans were pummeled with return letters. They wanted to start correspondence. They wanted to share their stories,” Kalahar said. “Some students got dog tags. Some students got memorabilia from the war. It was these people who didn’t feel honored and respected after that war was over. They are still working through some of that.”
For the most part, the students don’t know much about the Vietnam War. Kalahar said they had to do some pre-work on that.
Another ongoing program is volunteering at the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society. The kids go to the Humane Society at least once a month to walk the dogs.
Kalahar said the kids are excited about giving back and doing something for the community.