Students make a difference

Submitted by eighth-grader Fraya Brattebo, Chagrin Falls Middle School

No Shave November at Chagrin Falls Middle School was a month-long event to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The money that was collected has gone towards funding cancer research and directly to families who need help paying for treatments. Throughout the month of November, Chagrin Falls Middle School provided a number of events to get students involved with the cause and raise donations.

Activities throughout the month to help raise money included “stubble selfie” challenges, “pin the stache on the turkey,” “name that celebrity stache” and the “we mustache you a question” challenge. To enter these events, students paid a fee that supported the donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Students could also buy mustache merchandise from the Innovation Lab, like masks, hair ribbons, earrings and stickers.

Lila O’Brian, an eighth-grade member of the Principal’s Advisory Council (PAC), explained how the council chose the activities. She said council brainstormed ideas that would be safe in the time of COVID-19. Their main worry was the passing of cash and coins between multiple persons. In order to keep the risk of transmission low, PAC decided to have collection envelopes and boxes that could sit for three days before new hands touched the donation money.

Teachers also participated in the activities, with male teachers choosing to not shave their faces for the event. Students voted for which staff member’s beard they thought was the best and added a contribution of their choice with their vote. The student who gave the largest contribution to each teacher got to throw a pie in his face before he shaved.

Principal Laila Discenza explained that Virtual Academy students participated via Google Forms on their Google Classroom to judge the different teachers’ mustaches or beards and complete the other events. They were also able to donate money on Mondays during their supply pickup.

“We hope with all of these activities, we will reach everyone with one thing; anything to put a smile on their face or make them laugh,” said Mrs. Discenza. “We can do a lot together.”

Read Fraya’s original article at

Student recognized as ‘BullyProof’

Chagrin Falls Middle School eighth-grader Jake Evans won $100 after submitting a video to an anti-bullying contest from “BullyProof by Oscar.”

BullyProof by Oscar is a nonprofit group that works to help victims of bullying to become stronger and learn how to stand up for themselves and others, created by Oscar Reinart and his dad James. They created a video contest where students were encouraged to create a 30- to 60-second video that offers tips to “rise above and be kind.”

All video entries had to reflect the theme of anti-bullying and were open to individuals or collaborative entries. The video then had to be posted on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the tag @BullyproofbyOscar. The winners were selected by a panel of judges who were chosen by the BullyProof by Oscar team.

After Jake received notice of placing fourth for his video, he received a $100 Visa gift card and a BullyProof T-shirt, bracelet and challenge coin, which acts as a reminder to act with kindness and compassion.

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