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The White Hat Project

From an article that appeared in the local newspaper

In 1993 Pam Bramlet's Advanced Placement English Class at Harrisburg High School in Harrisburg, Illinois created the White Hat Society Charter and became founders of the White Hat Society. In their own words:

"From its humble roots as an Advanced Placement English project, the White Hat Society has grown into a pilot club for Harrisburg High School students interested in both the betterment of the local community and especially the fulfillment of our young children's education. The project stemmed from the Harry Singer Foundation which tries to make students more aware of political occurrences in the world around them. The Foundation is now interested in a project called the White Hats which involves students in sustaining the community and the well-being of the people. Possibilities for the class involved an array ranging from community cleanup to tutoring children.

The basic idea of the White Hat project is for the students to act as role models for the at-risk children in the district that are in danger of dropping out of school at an early age. The White Hat idea was the brainstorm of Margaret Bohannon-Kaplan, the director of the Harry Singer Foundation.

Paul Vickery, director of the Award and Win students, organized much of the design for the big project which consisted of a morning of tutoring and a fun-filled picnic in the town park, including a romp in the Tot Lot, a division of the park whose condition the AP students had worked earlier to improve.

The present White Hat Society has made a contribution to the city of Harrisburg by beautifying and partially renovating a frequently used portion of the park, tutoring at-risk children and treating these children to an afternoon of fun at the renovated park division. They hope that their efforts will set a precedent for a White Hat Society Club at Harrisburg High School that will strive to curb the number of high school dropouts."



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