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4th Grade Students are Classroom Champions

4th Grade Students are Classroom Champions

One Carl Junction classroom has become the first in Missouri to participate in an exciting and challenging learning experience called Classroom Champions. This impact mission, active across America and Canada, pairs an Olympic or Para-Olympic athlete to directly communicate with selected students.

Susan Eichelberger, 4th grade teacher at Carl Junction Intermediate filled out an extensive application and was thrilled to be informed that her classroom had been chosen and matched with Olympic Team USA member Chris Mazdzer. Mazdzer has competed in both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics in the Luge and will be competing in the 2018 Winter games in PyeongChang.

The program is designed to strengthen academic achievement and engagement in children but also develop character traits including goal setting, diversity acceptance, community involvement, perseverance, teamwork, courage, and healthy living. Each month Mazdzer presents Mrs. Eichelberger’s class with a challenge in the form of a digital video. So far this year, the outcomes of these challenges have seen students set goals, learn how to say phrases in other languages, and work with befriending and benefiting students in the Carl Junction school Multi-Handicap room.

Within the service project benefitting the Handicapped classroom, Eichelberger’s students spend time at two days a week playing games and reading books together. Also, they have partnered with, for a fundraiser to benefit the special needs room. For any person who purchases a ticket for the movie Wonder, a family-friendly film that tells the story of a fifth grader with facial deformity trying to find kindness and hope in his elementary school, our CJ special needs room earns $1 from the ticket price. This promotion runs throughout the month of December.

One particularly exciting event for these lucky Classroom Champions took place on December 6 when they had a live Google Hangout chat with Mazdzer. He answered questions about his life and his sport, even showing them his luge sled. The students are definitely eagerly anticipating their next chance to chat with him again, which will take place in April. The classroom has also been gifted t-shirts, bracelets, pencils, folders, and a tablet from the Classroom Champions organization.

Surely this program will make life-long memories for these students, and hopefully result in life-long kindness and community betterment. To find out more about Classroom Champions visit their website at or to purchase tickets to see Wonder and to benefit the Multi-Handicap classroom please visit this website