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Friday, March 4, 2016


Communities at Oshkosh North Students and Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club of Oshkosh Partner to End MNT

OSHKOSH, Wis. (March 4, 2016) On February 25, 2016, Oshkosh community members attended a spaghetti dinner hosted by Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club of Oshkosh and Communities at Oshkosh North 9th and 10th grade students. Students of Communities planned the event in partnership with local Kiwanians in order to raise awareness about maternal/neonatal tetanus (MNT) and save the lives of mothers and their future babies in developing countries.

Students prepared for the event by first investigating MNT. They learned about the causes, effects, and the 21 countries still working to eradicate the disease. Research into The Eliminate Project initiative, as well as insight from a local doctor aided their understanding. Students also helped coordinate the event by soliciting donations, selling tickets, and publicizing the cause. On event day, Kiwanians and Communities students served over 370 guests and raised $4,800, which has the potential to save over 2,000 mothers/babies in the developing world.



Communities is an interdisciplinary, project-based program at Oshkosh North High School offering students a unique way to learn English, social studies, and leadership content and skills through community engagement. Communities students investigate and engage in community problems through collaboration with businesses, organizations, and members of the community in an effort to provide authentic learning experiences while improving the local, national, and global community.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Reaction to NYTimes Upfront “What They Did for Their Summer Vacation

October 8, 2015
Lauren Neveau

Tobacco nicotine. Field pesticides. No water.

This is how the tobacco farmers in the South treat their workers: in a field of hazardous conditions, strenuous hours, southern summer heat, with little water. And now children, still young and innocent, have lifelong complications. As a child, I feel compelled to respond.

Yes, I admit, I spend my summers working out, having fun in the sun and hanging out with friends. The truth is, some children need to work hard to earn money for their family during the summer - how could teenagers of struggling families not feel compelled to help? The conditions for these children are unfortunate and worrisome, even down right disgusting if you will. And slaves of child labor deserve every ounce of safety during their unpleasant summer vacation.

But there is a lack of protection against child labor simply because the law states that children can not work in hazardous conditions. While the tobacco fields call for long, sustained hours of picking, and cause teen workers to have about the same level of nicotine in their bodies as regular smokers, that’s bad. How is this not considered “hazardous”? Killer side effects include: many workers live with nausea and dizziness and break out in hives from the nicotine overload. I am sorrowful knowing kids my age work in such hazardous conditions, yet I am so healthy and able to live life feeling valued in this world.    

My point is, there are child labor laws in this country, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are keeping children safe. We’re allowing children to suffer from the weekly 50-60 hours of picking tobacco, making below minimum wage, creating poor quality of life, while puking in the fields. Doing the exact opposite of what summer vacation is for, rejuvenation. And just because it will take time and effort to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act, doesn’t mean it isn’t a necessity to keep teens safe.

So let’s end this hazardous child labor, shall we? Please, accept their will to work, however, make their environment safe. Think about children who spend their summer vacations in pain, in Southern tobacco fields. Really, the U.S. needs to make a change.       

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Reaction to NY Times Upfront "Party Crashers"

By Ryan Jansen, 11th Grader in Communities at Oshkosh North 

Ever since the news broke that New York real estate developer and television personality Donald Trump would be running for the 2016 presidential election, there has been a tsunami of criticism and praise toward Mr. Trump. Fellow republican presidential hopefuls have criticized Trump saying things like “He’s not prepared” or “He’s not serious.” However, others, primarily political analysts gave backed Trump saying things like “He’s teaching other politicians to stop being politicians.”

While many people from both sides of the political spectrum have very strong opinions on Trump and his plans, I have a different perspective on the situation.

While I believe that many of Trump's plans are extreme, especially involving immigration, I see this situation as the definition of a polarizing viewpoint that is shocking perspective voters all around our country. Where is this shocked public viewpoint every time a U.S. citizen dies in a foreign land standing up for what us Americans believe in? Why is everyone so concerned and shocked over the viewpoints of a multi billionaire while they blatantly disregard their own viewpoints or the ones of their neighbors? The fact that people tend to immediately complain about the views politicians obtain without looking at all the possible viewpoints and current issues in the country infuriates me.

In many ways high schoolers including myself can relate to Trump. Trump is often criticized for saying the wrong things, this is something many high school aged people are often criticized for as well. However, lots of the time, us high schoolers have good intentions in what we are saying but are misinterpreted. Trump seems to have a similar issue. It seems that many American are quick to judge and take things out of context, and it's disheartening that many people will ultimately look at a high power politician like Trump in such a bad way without looking at all the needs in our own country.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Reaction to NY Times Upfront “The Selfie Election”

September 23, 2015
Chloe Billstrom

Signing autographs, putting up yard signs, shaking hands of voters: This is what presidential hopefuls have been doing in past elections to promote themselves. However, candidates have recently shifted gears towards social media to connect with a new audience, the millennials.

As a millennial myself, I was intrigued by candidates changing their tactics and its effectiveness to captivate young voters. When I began learning about politics in school, I frankly wasn't interested. Within minutes, I was zoned out due to the tedious descriptions and monotone voices in videos.

However, over time I began to increase my interest in politics because of social media. Reading about hot topic issues on Twitter or Facebook made me actually relate to what was going on in the world. With a more engaging way of learning, I’ve begun to grow my own political opinions.

Now, after a few years of expanding my knowledge, my feelings on the topic of presidential debate have evolved from making me groan to wanting to vote in the next election. Although highly debated among political aficionados about whether it’s a waste of time for candidates, social media was able to ignite that flame for me and other young voters.  

Going forward, I hope to be as involved in the elections as fellow millennials like the “presidential selfie girls”. Whether that be through social media and selfies or through a handshake, it’s clear that the presidential campaigns are evolving, debatably for the better.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Bikes Make Oshkosh Healthier & Safer

In my class, Communities 1, we have studied the importance of biking. I have recently learned that the Ordinance 15-271 will reduce Murdock Avenue to three lanes; two going each way, one shared left turn lane, and a five-foot bike lane on each side of the road. Evidence suggests citizens who ride bikes spend seven dollars more on local businesses. Therefore the bike lanes on Murdock Avenue will start to connect Oshkosh together which will positively affect the economy.

I appreciate the city council considering the road reconfiguration on Murdock Avenue. In my past experience on the bike lanes on Sawyer Street, I was able to tell the difference between riding my bike on roads with or without bike lanes. I feel safe riding my bike on a street with bike lanes because cars and cyclists each have their respective lanes to ride in.

According to the article ‘Protected Bike Lanes: Traffic Silver Bullets’ by Dave Schlabowske, traffic flow improves when motor vehicle lanes are removed to create room for protected bike lanes.

Please encourage the members of the Oshkosh City Council on Tuesday to support Ordinance 15-271. Bike lanes on Murdock Avenue would make the Oshkosh economy healthier and will create a safer environment for cyclists.

Kjersten Kleveland
Communities 1 Student

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Declare War On Plastic!

recycle.PNGONHS Needs To Go Truly Green!

My junior project is focused on making Oshkosh North’s community truly a green school. Oshkosh North by itself can’t clean up the world but it can create some momentum by getting people to talk. 

Let’s Declare War on Plastic
My project focuses on recycling plastic bags. According to the New York Times Upfront, over 100 cities have banned the use of plastic bags. The largest city being Los Angeles. This is a growing problem because all this plastic waste contributes to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch consists of mainly plastic that can swell to the size of Texas that floats between California and Hawaii. However, plastic is an issue for every city in the world.  Scientists estimate that it takes 1,000 years for some plastics to decompose.   

In 4 months, I have collected nearly 200 pounds of plastic.  However, we have more work to do!  Help me by collecting your ziploc bags, cereal bags, bread bags and grocery bags.  You can drop them off at the west entrance (door 7) of Oshkosh North High School or send them with your student.  Drop boxes are located by the Communities classrooms and in front of the Leadership room.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Supplying Teachers, Helping Students

Supplying Teachers, 

Helping Students

My project focuses on OASD teachers having to spend their 
own money to buy supplies for their classrooms due to the decline in school budgets.  Wisconsin was 43rd out of 50 states when it came to percentage changes in educational funding. With less money being given to the school districts, teachers have to pay more to fill the gap. Teachers in Oshkosh spend on average $500 to $1200 a year from the money they earn to buy supplies for their classrooms, many of which are basic supplies like pencils and paper. Without the proper supplies, it makes it difficult for teachers to do their job and provide students with the best education possible.
Pole Decorating at the Oshkosh Public Museum

I am partnering with The Teachers’ Closet, a non-profit organization that provides teachers with free supplies. I will be advocating for teachers by sending a letter to Wisconsin officials about ending budget cuts to Wisconsin’s education. I have already performed a few services to The Teachers’ Closet. I volunteered on behalf of The Teachers’ Closet at the Celebration of Lights and I made a 6 foot tall pencil out of duct work for their entry at the Oshkosh Public Museum Pole Decorating Contest. 
In addition, I will be running a philanthropy campaign in the form of a donation drive at the Oshkosh Saturday Farmer’s Market gathering supplies and raising awareness for the 
Oshkosh teachers. I’ll see you at the Oshkosh Saturday Farmer’s Market on March 14th and I will be accepting donations.