Collegiate Students Create Viable Results for Local Nonprofits

A group of Collegiate School students enrolled in the senior Capstone class, CreateAthon: Working with Nonprofits, learned recently that the strategies and ideas they shared with two Richmond-area nonprofits have yielded meaningful results.
Last fall, as part of the CreateAthon Capstone, nine students assisted four organizations — Chesterfield Innovative Academy For Girls, Milk River Arts, The Hawthorne Cancer Foundation and The READ Center — with their marketing campaigns. Five other students in the Digital Media class also took part.

The CreateAthon class included an intensive and strategic four-hour session designed to generate ideas for the nonprofits, whose needs ranged from social media campaigns to logos to website design. To prepare, student teams developed strong relationships with their chosen nonprofit, researched the organization and the sector in which it operates, visited the site and interviewed those directly involved with the organization.

Student teams also were assisted by expert mentors in the fields of print design, web design, illustration, copywriting, strategic planning and social media.

The team of Charlie Bugg, Jack Montague and Alyssa McDaniel worked with the Hawthorne Foundation on the organization’s 2018 major fundraising campaign. The group created “Life and Spirit,” an email campaign sent to previous donors that incorporated several origami animals to represent different giving levels.

“We wanted our campaign name to encompass values people fighting cancer and people who have battled cancer in the past possess,” Charlie said. “We chose these values with the utmost care and thoughtfulness.”

The pair was happy with their finished product, one on which they worked tirelessly.

“Having the foundation use our campaign and materials means the world,” Charlie said. “I had no idea through this course that I could help out a nonprofit with such a powerful message and mission. Knowing that they used our idea shows that our hard work paid off and it was all very worth it.”

Cristelle Brown, Community Relations Manager for the Hawthorne Foundation, emailed the group to let them know that the Board of Directors enthusiastically endorsed and adopted their work.

“They immediately asked me to extend additional kudos to the students,” she said. “For them to be able to produce such a relevant, thoughtful and visually appealing campaign, you all are doing something very well at Collegiate School! They have amazing careers ahead of them.”

Haley Kellam and Meade Spotts assisted the Chesterfield Innovative Academy, which brought a considerable challenge: Develop a new name and logo for the school. The pair came up with a new name, The Garden Schoolhouse, and logo design. The school’s Board of Directors approved the change and recently made the announcement on its Facebook page. The name change will become effective in September 2018.

“Haley and Meade... immersed themselves fully in the environment and absorbed the spirit and energy of our learning community,” said Audrey Smith, the Academy’s Head of School. “Their understanding and synthesis of this experience was the genesis of The Garden Schoolhouse. Overwhelmingly, people have responded positively to our name change and new logo.”

Allen Chamberlain, Head Librarian of Collegiate’s Upper School Library, and Jere Williams, Upper School art teacher, are co-teachers of the CreateAthon Capstone class.
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