(Posted Dec. 23, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The National FFA Organization named London High School’s FFA program as a top-10 chapter in the United States for community development projects.
At a recent school board meeting, chapter members Reed Rinesmith and Shade Glover talked about the group’s projects that garnered national praise:
• Flowers for a Flat. The chapter partnered with the Madison Soil and Water Conservation District and The Vineyard church to hold a tire recycling event. The students collected 2,760 tires and gave away 250 wildflower seed packets.
“It was a great way to get rid of some bad in the community and put some good back into the community,” Rinesmith said.
• Young Ducklings. Thirty-nine students wrote books about livestock and agriculture and read them to 175 first-graders. Glover said the project served to educate young people about agriculture and hopefully sparked in them an interest in FFA.
• Kickin’ Chickens. The chapter raised chickens, producing 250 pounds of meat, which they donated to HELP House in London for distribution to people in need. Students also donated 65 hours of community service to assist HELP House with various community outreach initiatives.
Dana Snyder, London FFA advisor, said the National Chapter Award process is a complicated one that starts in March. FFA groups from across the country complete a 20-page application highlighting their top nine activities. The activities are divided into three categories: community development, student development and chapter development.
“At the state level in May, we were selected as a gold rated chapter and top-10 chapter in Ohio in the student division,” Snyder said. “When chapters are selected as top-10 chapters, two students give a presentation to a panel of judges on the chapter’s activities.”
After the state level, applications are submitted to the national FFA leadership for evaluation. London was not only named a top-10 chapter in the community division, but also a three-star chapter overall. Chapters are rated as one-, two- or three-star, with three-star being the highest.