A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Cooper High School student service learning project says heartfelt thanks to St. E. healthcare workers

By Judy Clabes
NKyTribune editor

Max Perry and Ella Leicht, juniors at Randall K. Cooper High School led a service learning project for the Freshman Mentor Program that resulted in a special recognition of healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID pandemic.

The large-scale student-run service project involved over 300 students and numerous staff members at Cooper to write and deliver over 600 handwritten letters to healthcare providers at the St. Elizabeth Hospital at Ft. Thomas.

Making the cards . .

The project was months in the making — starting with careful planning and moving through the execution — delivering the letters in person. The students partnered with St. Elizabeth Foundation to pull it off.

“It was truly incredible to see this service-learning project come to life,” Said Perry, “and to have a real impact on students, healthcare workers, and the community as a whole.” 

After a week of writing letters, the students welcomed a panel of leaders and pioneers from the St. Elizabeth Foundation, including multiple Vice Presidents and members of the Board of Directors to speak virtually to the student body and educate them about the pandemic and immunization.

“As directors of the freshmen mentoring program, Hayley Dant (freshmen English teacher) and I try to incorporate some kind of service learning project for our mentors (juniors and seniors at Cooper) to work on with our freshmen JAM (home room) classes every year,” said Seven Vockel, an advisor to the Service Learning Project and a teacher of world history and AP government at Cooper.

Special delivery

“This year’s project made us extremely proud because it was completely student run. They saw a way to acknowledge these extremely dedicated and hard working people at St. Elizabeth while also educating our students about the work their system is doing to help battle COVID.

“Ella and Max created the idea, presented it to us, admin and the other FMPs and it was really special watching the mentors and the freshmen come together to create the cards.”

A group of students delivered the cards in-person to the hospital — and the cards are now posted throughout the hospital. 

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