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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Muscatine High School Community Club makes donation to Y

Margaret Hurlberthttps://discovermuscatine.com
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–As long as Muscatine High School at-risk and English language arts teacher Becky Huot has lived in Muscatine, she and her family have enjoyed everything the Muscatine Community Y has to offer. “The YMCA has been my favorite place in town since the day I moved here,” she shared: “The staff has been incredibly welcoming, and it has provided so many opportunities for my family! I always know that when my kids are there, they are safe and loved.”

Outside of teaching, Huot, along with at-risk social studies teacher Kathy Degner and at-risk science teacher Luke Turelli, helps connect students with volunteer opportunities. The three teachers officially incorporated their student group into Community Club during the 2019-2020 school year, and have provided students opportunities to help the community, such as bell ringing for the Salvation Army of Muscatine County and participating in the United Way Day of Caring. Over the years, the club has also helped out at the Y with tasks big and small, from clearing the walking trail to buffing scuff marks off of the gym floors. “The students always love volunteering at the Y, and I feel like we’re always very productive when we’re there,” Huot observed.

When picking her own children up from the Y’s afterschool Kid’s Club, Huot would often notice older children hanging around the Y’s Teen Center, which they make available to teens daily for free. Wanting to make sure the kids who visited had a positive experience, Huot started looking for ways to support the Teen Center. When the Iowa State Education Association made their Community Outreach Grants available, Huot knew she wanted to apply so that Community Club could support them in a bigger way. “I always knew I wanted to find a way to give back to the Y, and then the ISEA Community Outreach Grant opportunity was sent out to teachers and I knew that was my chance to make it happen.”

Huot received the grant for the 2019-2020 school year, but ended up postponing the donation until December 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier in the school year, Community Club students came to the Y to help prepare for the donation. After determining the grant could cover the cost of the Teen Center supplies with money to spare, she began working with Character Development and Kid’s Club Director Amy Hessel to see what toys their Kids Club could use as well. Members of the Community Club helped with this process, spending an afternoon at the Y sorting through all the Kids Club toys, organizing and listing all the ones they had in good shape and discarding any toys or games with broken or missing pieces.

Dec. 23, Huot and several Community Club members visited the Y to drop off their haul of toys and supplies. After working for so long on the project, Huot felt quite satisfied with the results. “To be able to come back now, after almost two long years, when the Y has suffered just like so many other businesses, and help them out when they need it most makes me feel really fulfilled!” she glowed.

Hessel also welcomed the donation and all the good it will do. “It’s exciting when people out in the community see what we’re doing and want to support us,” she stated.

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