'Heineman Apprentice' spotlights local causes

  • Kyle Camara, from left, George Hochwarter and Tony Baldacci make their pitch Tuesday to judges for their nonprofit of choice, Sack Lunch Sunday, during the "Heineman Apprentice" fundraising event at the Algonquin school.

      Kyle Camara, from left, George Hochwarter and Tony Baldacci make their pitch Tuesday to judges for their nonprofit of choice, Sack Lunch Sunday, during the "Heineman Apprentice" fundraising event at the Algonquin school. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Dante Fiandaca, from left, Justin Jablonski and Aiden Leinenger pitch their favorite nonprofit, Animal House Shelter in Huntley, to a panel of judges as students at Heineman Middle School in Algonquin finish up their "Heineman Apprentice" competition Tuesday.

      Dante Fiandaca, from left, Justin Jablonski and Aiden Leinenger pitch their favorite nonprofit, Animal House Shelter in Huntley, to a panel of judges as students at Heineman Middle School in Algonquin finish up their "Heineman Apprentice" competition Tuesday. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/24/2015 7:29 PM

Students at Heineman Middle School in Algonquin Tuesday took part in the first day of the "Heineman Apprentice" competition, a takeoff on the NBC "Apprentice" TV show. The purpose of the event was to challenge literacy students to raise awareness for a local or global cause.

Students competed on behalf of their social cause, and the top performing teams will win the right to donate the proceeds from a Jump-a-Thon to their chosen charity. More students are scheduled to compete Wednesday.

 

"Through this project, we hope to inspire our students to learn about social issues, cultivate empathy for others, and to take action in support of worthy causes," eighth-grade literacy teacher Dede Cravens said. "The focus of the assignment is to research various nonprofit organizations and charities and find one that the group would like to support," Cravens said.  

A team comprised of Kyle Camara, George Hochwarter and Tony Baldacci are focusing on Sack Lunch Sunday, an organization devoted to the homeless.

"This is an organization that delivers 100 lunches a week to Chicago homeless on the street," Kyle said. The effort was inspired by organization founder Nick Gore, who is a friend of Heineman teacher Courtney Fulton.

The team of Dante Fiandaca, Justin Jablonski and Aiden Leinenger are playing on behalf of Animal House Shelter, a Huntley no-kill shelter. "I adopted my cat from Animal House Shelter, and when we were there we noticed a number of animals that had handicaps, so we decided that we wanted to help these animals find homes," Aiden said.

The victorious team will present a check to their organization in April.

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