Helena Council donates $2,200 to help local project

Helena Intermediate School Principal Kathy Paiml and Gifted resource teacher Shelli Abernathy take a photo with the four Problem based learning students after the Helena Council donated $2,200 to their #AdvertiseHelena project. (Reporter Photo/Graham Brooks)

Helena Intermediate School Principal Kathy Paiml and Gifted resource teacher Shelli Abernathy take a photo with the four Problem based learning students after the Helena Council donated $2,200 to their #AdvertiseHelena project. (Reporter Photo/Graham Brooks)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Four upcoming sixth graders presented a project titled #AdvertiseHelena at the June 1 Helena City Council Meeting and were hoping to receive a small amount of money for their start-up costs from the council, but instead were surprised with a collective amount of $2,200 to help fund their project.

The students recently completed fifth grade at Helena Intermediate School, where they were involved in the Problem Based Learning Program.

There was a competition between the PBL students where they developed presentations after spending five weeks researching to help solve a real-world situation.

Gifted resource teacher Shelli Abernathy spoke highly about the group of students and the meaning of PBL and the #AdvertiseHelena project.

“Problem based learning ties together problem solving and student’s passions,” said Abernathy. “AdvertiseHelena is an organization that’s going to help businesses around Helena, and it’s going to be something that the Helena Business Association members who wish to join can join. There’s going to be items such as Frisbees, pens and T-shirts that say AdvertiseHelena, so it’s an organization that promotes low cost advertising for the Helena businesses.

The students presented a Power Point slideshow to the council, as well as Helena citizens and even some local business owners.

The student’s goal was to ask the council for $221 to help with their start-up costs and the council members were so moved by their presentation that they went above and beyond the $221 amount.

Helena Councilman Mike Jones offered to help the #AdvertiseHelena project through the services of Ovation Media to help with the T-shirts, Frisbees and pens.

“Just to cut expenses, we own Ovation Media and we can do all your T-shirts, Frisbees and pens for you,” said Jones. “I can also give you access to our art department and you can have access to our artists, our web designers, our social media guides and you can actually go in and work with them when they design your T-shirts. We’ll give up to $1,000 from Ovation Media in products to help.”

The city of Helena donated $800, Jones donated $1,000, Councilman Hal Woodman donated $200 and Councilwoman Cris Nelson donated $200 to bring the total to $2,200 to help the students with their project.