By Alicia Dziak

It’s that time of year again when SGI seventh graders are busy finishing up their Kids Can Make a Difference service projects. For a majority of the school year, students were tasked with working with an organization of their choice and completing community service hours. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some of their projects. Please consider sharing your seventh grader’s KCMAD project! Email us at

Helping the Environment

Marissa Martens volunteered at Knox Farm during the I Love My Park day on May 5. She also worked with kindergarten students at SES completing Earth Day projects involving planting seeds and up-cycling a water bottle into a hanging flower planter.

Helping Others with Liver Disease

Seventh grader Riley Ballantyne chose to work with the American Liver Foundation because she was diagnosed with liver disease nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in October of last year. “I have been doing research on my disease and I know that I am not alone and there are many people, including kids, that are just like me,” Riley said.

For the service portion of her project, she contacted the American Liver Foundation and they will be sending a thank you when they receive the donations. “I organized a Middle School Hat Day and a SGI staff dress down day to raise money,” Riley explained. “I had to send a letter of approval to the superintendent and it was then approved by the School Board.”

Riley said her favorite part of the project was the support she received from students, teachers, and staff.  “I raised $1,000 for the foundation,” she said. “I am so proud to be part of a school that truly supports one another!”

She added, “I am going to be fighting this disease for the rest of my life.  I want to thank my family, friends, and teachers for helping me be successful!”