Want to Be More Civically Engaged? Here are Some Simple Tips

There are many reasons why it's important to be civically involved, from contributing to your community in meaningful ways to the health benefits often found in those who actively serve as volunteers and on boards and committees of nonprofits and government agencies.

Although you may want to be more civically involved, it can be difficult to know where to start. Work, family and various other responsibilities can make it feel as if you don't have time for anything else in your life. However, civic engagement can be easier than you might think. There are several simple things you can do to support your community without a huge investment of your time, energy or money.

Below are six simple ways you can get more civically involved today:

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Great Things are Happening in Chippewa Falls!

There are always exciting things happening in the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District!  From new construction planning to charitable initiatives from our wonderful students, we have a lot of exciting news to share. Below are a few recent highlights:

Design phase for Stillson construction, CFHS renovation complete

Plans have been finalized for the construction of Stillson Elementary and the renovation of Chippewa Falls Middle and High Schools. The $65 million project will expand facilities for students, teachers and faculty members and enable the district to enhance its programs and services. The projects are moving forward after community members approved a referendum question on the ballot last November. Track the progress via the district's website.

Students honored for charitable work, community engagement

The Kiwanis Club of Chippewa Falls, an organization focused on investing in charitable efforts and encouraging young people to get involved with the community, has recognized two CFHS students. The Kiwanis Club donated $50 in honor of each of the students to the charities of their choice.

We are proud of the great work of these students, as they have contributed to their community in meaningful ways!


Students collect donations for Recovery Court

Two CFHS students collected a wide variety of donations for the Chippewa County Recovery Court, an intensive rehabilitation and recovery program. The students collected donations of clothes, backpacks and toiletries from the community to give to participants in the program. Great job on an impactful community service effort by these students!

Former CFHS student folds hundreds of paper cranes

When Alan Fox was a senior at Chippewa Falls High School, he came across a college admissions essay example that referenced the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who was affected by the bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. Inspired by her goal to fold 1,000 paper cranes, Fox decided to take on the challenge for himself.

Now in college, he has steadily been working his way up toward his goal.

There are so many great things happening in Chippewa Falls, it's difficult to cover them all on the Mighty Cardinals blog. Please stay tuned for further news and updates from your alma mater!

What's the Value of a Great Education?

Whether it’s at an international conference or a local school board meeting, education is one of the most widely discussed topics at every level—and for good reason. The quality of education children receive can make a huge difference in the rest of their lives.

Education is about more than just whether a person attended a school—it’s about what the quality of his or her educational experience was. Understanding the implications of education can help motivate you to pursue and support the achievement of young people in your own community.

In the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District, our students, alumni and community members know full well the impact a great education can have.

Education and personal wellbeing

Education affects individuals in very personal and lasting ways. In fact, it is one of the primary determining factors when it come to lifetime earnings and overall success. An individual’s chance of securing a good-paying job increases dramatically based on the level of education received. It has a lasting impact on financial wellbeing and can determine a person's earnings potential for decades.

Because so many full-time positions require applicants to have earned a college degree, employment rates tend to be lower among those without. The jobs available to people with a high school diploma or less tend to be less lucrative and less consistent than those available to college graduates.

However, this does not mean that everyone has to get a four-year degree. Those with specialized vocational training—such as radiation therapists, electricians and web developers—can make high salaries and work in field with low unemployment.

Global effects of education

Education influences so much more than just an individual’s success and earnings potential—it also affects society on a national and global level. Communities with greater access to education and a more educated population tend to have healthier economies, lower levels of poverty, less crime and better quality of life. Education also promotes innovation and creativity within a community, sparking new ideas to advance technology and make the world a better place.

To ensure that future generations are given greater educational opportunities, it’s essential for people at every level of society to support educational organizations and institutions. This starts with local school districts like CFAUSD.

We're fortunate to live, work and learn in a community that supports its public schools. If you would like to get more involved, whether it's through volunteering, mentoring or making a financial contribution, we encourage you to contact us.

Enjoy These Spring Events in Chippewa Falls Schools

While we still may be in the dead of winter here in Chippewa Falls, spring is just around the corner! Our students are hard at work preparing for a wide variety of concerts, performances and other events in the coming weeks and months.

We would like to send a special invitation to our alumni, supporters and community members to check out these events coming up:

Orchestra Golden Ticket Night

Thursday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Chippewa Falls High School

Attend a wonderful performance from the Chi-Hi Orchestra.

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Want to Reconnect with Old Friends? Here are Some Tips.

Nowadays, people have access to more tools for connecting and communicating than ever before. However, that does not make it any easier to break the ice with a friend you haven’t spoken to in years—or even decades.

It’s quite common to feel nervous or even stressed out at the thought of getting in touch with an old friend, but reaching out to someone who you haven't spoken to in a long time gives you the opportunity to rekindle a friendship you’ve been missing.

How to reach out

There's no magic formula that will guarantee your success when you attempt to make contact with an old friend, but there are several steps you can take to make the process as easy as possible.

  • Set your anxiety aside: If you feel nervous about contacting an old friend, you’re not alone. Even best friends can drift apart with time. The important thing is that you want to reconnect. Your friend might be just as anxious as you are about reaching out to you, so don’t let nerves get the better of you.
  • Send a brief message: There’s no need to write a novel chronicling everything that has happened since you last spoke with your friend. Keep your message short, sweet and to the point. Start off with something like, “I know it’s been a while since we spoke, but I’d love to catch up." You might include a simple question to get a conversation started.
  • Ease into an in-person meeting: It’s exciting to finally get in touch with an old friend, but you shouldn't jump straight into an in-person meeting. Continue corresponding online, via text or over the phone until you both feel comfortable enough to get together.
  • Consider the circumstances: It’s important to think about what your friend has experienced since you last spoke and how they might feel about you reaching out. If you and your friend had a falling out that caused you to lose touch, an apology or reconciliation could be in order. If you don’t address pain or hurt from the past, your friend may be skeptical of your motives.
  • Keep your expectations in check: Even with all your best efforts and intentions, you might never hear back from your old friend. The reality is that not everybody is open to rekindling friendships with those they have lost touch with. Don’t get discouraged by a missed connection and try to understand why your friend might be uninterested in reconnecting.

Communicating with old friends isn’t always easy, but it can be well worth the effort. Putting yourself out there can lead to the revival of meaningful friendships you have lost over the years.

Planned Giving Opportunities Before the End of the Year

A great education is critically important for our children, community and society as a whole. Chippewa Falls students, parents and alumni are well aware of the impact a strong K-12 education can have in preparing young people for life beyond the classroom.

During this season of giving, you can make tax-deductible charitable contributions to support Chippewa Falls, just like you would any other organization or cause important to you. Our donors allow us to expand our programs and services, providing our students with the best educational experiences possible from pre-K through high school.

If you’re thinking about making a contribution to support Chippewa Falls schools, now is the the perfect time of the year to do so. Not only does charitable giving in December give you the opportunity to spread some holiday cheer, but it also allows you to enjoy some benefits come tax time in April.

Getting involved with holiday giving

Contributions to the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District Foundation are tax deductible. You can find out more about how to give a one-time gift by contacting Sharon Barkley at cfausdfoundation@yahoo.com. If you’re interested in establishing a scholarship fund, you can fill out and send in a donor data sheet.

No matter how big or small your contribution, you can rest assured knowing that it's going toward quality educational opportunities for the children attending Chippewa Falls schools. Even if you cannot make a financial contribution, we welcome those who want to get involved with our schools to volunteer at our events and after-school programs.

You can find out more about how to get involved and contribute to Chippewa Falls schools and students by contacting us today.

Fall Into Fall with These Chippewa Falls School District Events!

As the leaves fall off the trees, the temperatures drop and we start to see the first flakes of snow hit Chippewa Falls, our students are getting ready for a variety of great events in the coming weeks. We would like to invite everyone in our school community, including our alumni, supporters and community members, to check out and attend these events this year.

Here's a rundown of what's in store from now until the holiday break:

Theater Performance: "No Mother to Guide Her"
November 9-11
Chippewa Falls High School Auditorium
Students perform "No Mother to Guide Her," a melodrama in Victorian-era style, with lots of funny modern twists. Come boo the villain and cheer the hero as the whole cast plays out a ridiculous tale of love, greed and deception. Live piano accompanies the action. Admission is $3 for students and $5 for adults; tickets are available at the door. Performances start at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Chippewa Falls High School Auditorium. Contact director Molly Barnes at Chi Hi with questions. 715-726-2406 x 1217

Halmstad Culver’s Night
November 13
Culver’s in Hallie
Teachers and parents serve Culver’s customers to benefit the Halmstead PTO.

Jazz Band Winter Concert
November 30 at 7 p.m.
Chippewa Falls High School Auditorium

Voyagers Play
November 30 at 6:30 p.m.
Chippewa Falls Middle School
Students of Chippewa Falls Middle School's after-school program perform.

Jim Falls Deck the Halls
December 6 at 6 p.m.
Jim Falls Elementary School
Jim Falls hosts a PTO-sponsored holiday event.

You can check out a full list of our upcoming events here. If you want to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on with the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, where you can check out photos, news and more events.

Thank You for a Great Homecoming 2018!

Homecoming is a special tradition here in Chippewa Falls. This year's festivities took place the week of September 24-29, and it was yet again a memorable event for our students, parents, community and our wonderful alumni.

Unfortunately, the Mighty Cardinals fell to a tough River Falls team on Friday night by a score of 34-21. Still, it was wonderful to see so many of our alumni out and about at the game and the other great events throughout the week. This included the homecoming parade, where students' floats were on full display.

We are also proud of the student council members at Chippewa Falls High School, who planned a number of fun activities throughout the week that made Homecoming 2018 another milestone event.

Immediately following the game, students, staff, community members and alumni headed out to the annual bonfire and pig roast. As always, it was a great time for all, and it reminded us once again of what makes Chippewa Falls such a special community.

For all the alumni who took part in this year's homecoming events, it was great to see you. Thank you for being such an important part of the great traditions we have here in the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District. Go Mighty Cardinals!


Alumni Invited to Homecoming Activities


There's nothing quite like homecoming in Chippewa Falls. The week—and all the activities, events and celebrations that take place—has become a true point of pride in our community.

If you attended Chi-Hi, you may recall taking part in homecoming festivities yourself. Like always, the Student Council is planning some fun, creative events for the entirety of Spirit Week. This year, the festivities run September 24-29.

Throughout the week, students will take part in a wide range of activities to show their school spirit. While the Student Council is at work picking a theme and planning activities, a few events will look very familiar to our alumni and community members.

As always, Friday is Spirit Day. The afternoon will feature a pep rally to cheer on the Mighty Cardinals football team before the big game.  

Then, on Friday at 7 p.m., the Chi-Hi Mighty Cardinals football team will take on the River Falls Wildcats at Dorais Field. Immediately following the game, there will be the annual bonfire and pig roast that has become such an important part of homecoming over the years. That event starts at 9 p.m.

The homecoming dance is Saturday night, with students taking part in one of the most memorable events of their high school years.

Homecoming is such a terrific event for the entire Chippewa Falls community, including our students, families, community members and, perhaps most of all, our wonderful alumni. We hope you can come out to the football game and enjoy the pig roast and bonfire afterward.

Go Mighty Cardinals!

How Can You Continue to Support Chippewa Falls Schools?

Although you may be a few or many years removed from your days at Chippewa Falls High School, there’s a part of you that will always be a Mighty Cardinal. Whether you were a member of the marching band, part of the art club and/or on the football team, your time in high school shaped who you are today. And, there’s a good chance it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the alumni who came before you.

Today, you’re in a position to help current students have the same experiences you did in your formative years. There are numerous ways you can support your alma mater and those who are now working their way toward the next stage in their lives.

Volunteer your time

The very best thing you can give to your old high school is your time. There are always jobs to be done that rely heavily on the generosity of volunteers—from staffing school events to organizing local functions. Take a look at some of the best ways you can put your time to use:

  • Mentor: Many students are looking for someone to help them beyond the classroom. They want to learn applicable skills and moral reasoning, and develop a bond with someone they can admire. As an alumnus, you could be this person. All it takes is a little one-on-one time with a student.
  • Volunteer: We're always looking for dedicated volunteers. Whether it’s manning the concessions stand at a football game or working as a chaperone for the band field trip, your contributions will be highly appreciated.
  • Coach: Youth sports teams often have a need for volunteer coaches, especially at the elementary or middle school level. Being a coach means being a leader and lending your time means keeping players engaged and out of trouble after school.

Serve as a school ambassador

One of the simplest things you can do to give back to your alma mater is to support it as part of your everyday life. Share school news on your social media accounts, wear school apparel on the weekends or even attend a home game for a school sport. Your support will go a long way in helping Chi-Hi continue to serve an important role in our community.

Donate to support programs and services

Of course, monetary donations are always welcome. School budgets often come up short of what’s needed to give students the best educational experiences possible. Whether it’s donating to the theater program, chipping in a few bucks at a club fundraiser or making a private donation to the CFAUSD Foundation, every dollar generously donated by alumni improves the experience of our current students.

No matter how you choose to support Chippewa Falls schools, your efforts will have a meaningful impact on the lives of our students, staff and administration. We hope you consider the many ways you can give back.