high schools students with teacher

For Immediate Release

Contact: Rick Reo, Superintendent



Paw Paw, MI – In the 2010 movie “Pay it Forward” a teacher gives students the assignment to think of a way to change the world and put it into practice.

Now, juniors and seniors enrolled in the new “Pay it Forward” class at Paw Paw High School are doing just that and taking the concept to a whole new level. Through partnerships with area nonprofits, students are working together to volunteer their time and effort toward projects that make a positive impact in the community.

“Serving the community is at the heart of why this class was created,” said “Pay it Forward” Teacher Cari Houston. “These students love to get out in the community and give back, and the satisfaction they get from helping others is absolutely contagious!” 

 “The “Pay it Forward” class is a notable example of the type of innovation that is taking place districtwide,” said Superintendent Rick Reo. “The class aligns well with our district’s Core Values of Innovation, Kindness, and Community. At the same time, it fulfils one of the district’s Strategic Goals, which is to build community connections that increase authentic learning opportunities for students and improve civic engagement.”

This week, students in the “Pay it Forward” class will be “Raking a Difference” by going out into the community to rake leaves. Other community service projects this semester have included students volunteering at the local food pantry, serving at senior citizen luncheons, and cleaning up trails and parks, and more. By learning to work together on community projects, students gain new skill sets, such as fundraising, project management, leadership, and collaboration.

 When students have completed a project, they present what they have learned, how they have served, and how they will continue to “Pay it Forward” by educating others about the needs in the community.

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