Our School's Riley Mission

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Judith Mantyla with her daughter, Julia

I first heard of Riley when my husband’s cousin’s daughter was born with a heart defect. She was referred to Riley Hospital for care. I remembered talking with family about how the hospital made the experience more bearable. 

When I took over as Student Council Advisor nine years ago at Northridge Middle School, our school was already doing philanthropy for Riley’s Children’s Foundation through the Kids Caring and Sharing program. Through the years, we have slowly built the fundraisers and awareness activities that we do through Student Council. And over the years, our student population has seen many of our students in Riley Hospital’s care. 

I think that it is these experiences that spur our students, and me, on in our efforts.  Seeing firsthand what my students have to face and knowing that I have the ability to do something that can ease that for them and their families, makes me want to do more! As my children have gotten older, they have become more and more involved in these activities. When they were younger, they would come up to help with our annual dance “marathon” and this year my son was able to participate as an 8th grader. 

I believe what we’re doing here shows every student that one person can make a difference and that when many join together, we can do amazing things in service of others.

To learn how your school can get involved in our Kids Caring & Sharing program visit RileyKids.org/KCS

Judith Mantyla

Judith Mantyla is an eighth grade language arts teacher at Northridge Middle School in Middlebury, Ind., where she has spent nine of her 16 years of teaching. She also serves as a Student Council Advisor and seventh grade girls’ basketball coach and has been a driving force in creating the Civics in Action program, which provides students with community service opportunities. She was presented with the 2016 Volunteer of the Year award by her community. Judith and her husband Scott, who have been married for 16 years, have two children, Avery, 14, and Julia, 11.

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