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Viewpoint 181: Brainerd High School Warrior Day — learning outside the box

A special “Thank You” to everyone that helped make Warrior Day a success! It would not have been possible without the support of our community, teachers, staff, and student clubs helping to lead the way.

Students putting together and packaging meals.
Brainerd High School students pack meals for Ukraine as part of the The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes.
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On Friday, March 25, 2020, Brainerd High School held its first-ever Warrior Day. A day to volunteer, network with potential employers, eat, dance, and learn outside of the traditional classroom.

Inspired by the success of last year's on-campus Polar Plunge event and the popularity of the annual Lunch Jam, teachers Emilee Freed and Alexis Marcelo discussed ways to build on that momentum. Their goal was to merge the ideas of school culture, service learning, community outreach, and inclusion by putting the focus back on the whole student.

Each activity during Warrior Day was built with those ideas in mind. Whether meeting potential employers at the Job Fair or making blankets for animals at the Heartland Animal Rescue Team shelter, students embraced the opportunity to learn in a nontraditional setting.

Brainerd Public Schools' students and staff have a strong history of giving back to our community, and Warrior Day was no exception.

On an extremely windy and bitter-cold day, our Warriors were definitely freezin' for a reason. More than 180 plungers took a dip into the frigid water and raised $21,948 for the Special Olympics of Minnesota, far surpassing their goal of $15,000!

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Spearheaded by teacher Aubrey Koman, The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes brought their production to Brainerd High School for the day so students could help pack meals for Ukraine. Two hundred and fifty students participated and supported the Outreach Program in reaching a quarter of its goal by packing more than 25,000 meals in 5 hours!

Making the impact of this event even more substantial was the personal connection. Brainerd High School Ukrainian exchange student Anhelina Nevmerzhytska, and sophomore Anastasiia Biermaier (recently adopted from Ukraine) helped pack meals. Anhelina and Anastasiia were extremely touched by the efforts of their classmates who gave of themselves to support them and their country.

A special “Thank You” to everyone that helped make Warrior Day a success! It would not have been possible without the support of our community, teachers, staff, and student clubs helping to lead the way.

We are truly “Warrior Proud!”

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