English 10 and 11 teacher Mr. Chiarella is well-known around Hammond. Today, April 15th, students may observe that Mr. Chiarella’s magnificent mane and beautiful beard are different than usual: Both are spray-painted in Hammond spirit colors as a result of his classes raising the most money for a student-powered fundraiser.
Sean Stewart and Meg Murray, 12th grade students taking Mr. Livieratos’ Leadership class, were the leaders of the fundraiser. Raising money for the Grassroots “Don’t Do Nothing” suicide prevention campaign, Stewart and Murray searched for ways to get students more excited for and involved with donating money. Says Stewart, “We originally wanted to get teachers involved in outlandish ways, so we got some of the ‘hairier’ teachers to volunteer to dye their hair as a kind of incentive to get students excited.” Mr. Seibel, Mr. L, and Ms. Leonard were other candidates for the position, but Mr. Chiarella swept the contest in a landslide (who raised about 60% of the total).
“My students love seeing me do things that are out of the ordinary,” smiles Mr. Chiarella, “so I think that may have been a big factor in their donations.” The Grassroots homeless shelter campaign brings awareness to suicide and the prevention of suicide. Murray states that she and Stewart decided to raise money for this initiative not only because the SGA is already really committed to the campaign, but also because it is a unique and relevant campaign for students to participate in.
Mr. L jests, “I’m proud of my students for raising money for such a good cause, but I am also very thankful that I’m not the one with spray-painted hair!” Mr. Chiarella is glad to be able to support his students, Hammond, and the “Don’t Do Nothing” campaign.