During Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order, University School of Milwaukee students developed creative ways to support the Milwaukee community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
MILWAUKEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPPLY DRIVE
With schools and libraries closed, Thomas Wright ’21 knew that it would be difficult for many Milwaukee area families to continue scholastic work at home. Wright, along with other Upper School student
council members, established a book and art-supply drive to benefit students and families in Milwaukee
Public Schools. The students sought donations of gently used materials and then took them to the MPS central office. In total, they collected more than 50 boxes of supplies.
“I’m hoping these supplies can help supplement the students’ learning and also maybe provide some
relief to the parents,” said Wright. “There’s been such a huge response, which I’m most happy about.
I think the school community at USM can really empathize with these families and hopefully make a difference.”
FIGHTING HUNGER ONE BAGEL AT A TIME
When a group of Upper School student council members took over selling bagels as part of the
organization’s Conference Café last fall, they could not have guessed they’d be raising funds to help fight a global pandemic by spring. But thanks to the students’ efforts, they raised more than $1,400 to donate to Feeding America to support families facing hunger.
Every Wednesday when school was in session on campus, members of Conference Café sold fresh
Einstein Bros. bagels and cream cheese during flex time. After USM transitioned to distance learning,
the group sold T-shirts to continue their fundraising efforts. “Sitting at home, we realized a lot of people
are in desperate need and we wanted to help,” said Neil Dogra ’21. “We designed a long-sleeve T-shirt
and we’re adding that money to the profits we made from selling bagels to support Feeding America.”
USM COMMUNITY DONATES MORE THAN $27,000 TO RIVERWEST FOOD PANTRY
On Tuesday, June 9, University School of Milwaukee teachers and families visited Riverwest Food Pantry
to present a check in the amount of $27,923.50 to the organization. The money was raised through a combination of efforts by 3rd grade students and USM parents to support the organization, which has
remained open through the COVID-19 pandemic despite reduced manpower and funding.
As part of their USM@HOME curriculum, 3rd grade students were challenged to create something that would make a difference for others during the pandemic, and several students focused on projects that supported Riverwest Food Pantry specifically. James Reimer ’29 developed the Riverwest Ride for Charity event, during which he rode his bike on Fratney Street in Milwaukee for six hours and raised an impressive $923.50 for his efforts. Meanwhile, Coughlin Mellowes ’29 and his older sister, Murphy, prepared “kid’s corner” packages that were distributed to families during food distribution, and Katerina Kostopoulos ’29 delivered fresh chocolate chip salt cookies.
Third grade students have partnered with Riverwest Food Pantry for several years on various projects. “It is these experiences in our Milwaukee community that can help students learn about injustices that are very real, while also building compassion, generosity, and the skills needed to take action and make a difference,” said 3rd Grade Teacher Brita Willis.
In addition to the students’ projects, many USM parents supported the Riverwest Food Pantry by forgoing their lunch program food credit at the end of the school year. The money was pooled together to support the food pantry and the USM Parents’ Association Wildcat Thank You gift (for USM faculty and staff).
Many thanks to all who helped support Riverwest Food Pantry and its critical mission!