MERCER, Wis. - Neil Klemme, youth development agent with the Iron County University of Wisconsin-Extension office, needed some help.
He had an idea to revamp some marketing tools used in the past, including stickers and brochures, but required some assistance.
Klemme mentioned this to Mercer School guidance counselor Breia Pfaller, who put him in touch with the publications class at the school.
Students were asked to help re-create the Fe logo, a slogan used to describe the Gogebic Iron Range, and all that it has to offer, including economic development, tourism, community and culture.
The students in Lynn Paulson's class worked on brochures featuring the four seasons in the area, different waterfalls and campgrounds.
"I brought the project in, and the next week I came back to meet with them and they were nearly done," Klemme said.
Designers included Sarah Kirchoff, Sydney Thompson, Lexi Engler, Hayle Woolf, Caitlyn Hiller, Linda Tondel, Kassie Wiedower, Skady Fuchs, Kendra Tutt and Bela Wiedower.
"We were happy to help," Kassie Wiedower said.
Paulson said the class usually works on the yearbook for the school, and Klemme's project allowed them to get "real world experience" with publication in a "far more local manner."
The project also helped students appreciate things they have right in their backyards.
"I definitely think it made them more aware," Paulson said. "We all get into these ruts. We love living here, but we get into these ruts and we aren't aware of things around us, things we've never done before. Having the kids do this might have opened their eyes to some things they might not have known about before."
The goal of projects like this is to create a "sense of place," Klemme said, especially in youth.
"In my job, I really want to stress the importance of youth in our community," Klemme said. "I want them to feel connected to their community. This project allowed for them to be a part of their county in a different way, and they did a great job with it."
The Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce was also involved.
"We wanted to have them be a part of this because it would help make these brochures more legit," Klemme said. "The chamber was very appreciative of the kids' work. When making a brochure, without building in those other pieces like the chamber, it's just a brochure."
Klemme would like to see students from across Iron County be involved in projects like this.
For more information, call the Iron County UW-Extension office at 715-561-2695 or the Mercer School District at 715-476-2154.