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School Organizes “Drills on Wheels” Service Project

Students from John F. Kennedy High School in Cleveland, Ohio, organized “Drills on Wheels,” an event and awareness campaign for Special Olympics.

Students participate in warm-up activities for the basketball tournament at John F. Kennedy High School Recreation Center in Cleveland, OH.

Students in a business marketing class taught by Ms. Tanisha Long at JFK High partnered with students with intellectual disabilities to host a youth service learning project to bring awareness to the issue of childhood obesity within Cuyahoga County.  The event was part of the SO Get Into It grant that was a partnership between JFK High School, Y Leap, Inc. & Special Olympics Project Unify. 

Preparation for the event started on February 15, and concluded with hosting a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at John F. Kennedy High School Recreation Center.

The group of excited students began their marketing plan on Spread the Word to End the Word® day, March 2, 2011. The students announced their plans to host a 3-on-3 basketball tournament to raise awareness to the issue of childhood obesity within Cuyahoga County.  Students distributed flyers, set up online social marketing campaigns, and contacted local public officials and media professionals.

The idea of hosting a 3-on-3 basketball tournament to raise awareness around the growing concern of childhood obesity was a collective decision among the core students who were in charge of implementing the project. Cooperation and teamwork were important goals throughout the duration of the campaign.  The project emphasized giving each student a voice; this can be seen through the PSA commercial that was written, created, and directed entirely by the high school students.  Each student, regardless of their ability, was able to contribute to the project’s overall success. 

The Drills-on-Wheels service project concluded with the final sporting event at the Recreation Center!  JFK High School hosted a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.  At the event, students organized and ran an informational table explaining their service learning project in detail to interested fans. The students used graphs, charts, videos, and pictures to inform the attendees about the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, both nationally as well as within Cuyahoga County.  They also presented activation ideas on how all residents of Cleveland can work together to bring about solutions.    

Through this event, all students at JFK High School and Cuyahoga County were able to learn ways to combat obesity together as a community.  Additionally, students also gained insight on the importance of working together as a team, as well as how to use the various talents of both the business marketing students and the special education students to create a successful campaign and event.  These students have set a wonderful example for their community, and their efforts have sent a ripple of inspiration throughout the rest of Ohio.  While this particular project is complete, the students hope that their vision will continue to grow beyond their school and continue to motivate youth to work together for change.


Students participate in warm-up activities for the basketball tournament at John F. Kennedy High School Recreation Center in Cleveland, OH.

Both business students and special education students at JFK High School completed social media and marketing campaigns to raise awareness about childhood obesity throughout their community.