Clawson High School students look to raise $18,000 to replace downtown clock

25-year-old downtown clock hasn’t worked in years and is worn down

A high school civics assignment is inspiring Clawson students to make a positive change beyond the classroom and they aren't taking the task lightly.

CLAWSON, Mich. – Downtown Clawson has a clock at the intersection of 14 Mile and South Main Street.

Mary Liz Curtin, a chair for Clawson Downtown Development Authority, said the clock was part of a redevelopment program and has been there since 1996.

Now, 25 years later, the clock isn’t working and the bottom of the stand is rusting and peeling.

“The DDA has done our very best to keep it going, but it now needs more work than we have been able to do for it,” said Curtin.

That’s where 10th graders Layla Swope and Audri Holloway come in. On the first day of school, their civics teacher, Eddie Hejka, assigned the class a semester-long group project where they have to make a positive impact in their community.

His goal is to not just teach kids about their government but get them involved whether it is at the local, state or federal level.

“The first day a couple of students said ‘We can write to these people? We can talk to our senators and we can call their offices?’” said Hejka.

So far, students have decided to tackle a variety of causes for their project including changing the two-way stop at Phillips Avenue and North Washington Avenue near the high school into a four-way stop and getting body cameras for law enforcement.

Swope saw a Facebook post about the clock’s condition which sparked the idea of replacing it as part of her civics projects. They are now in the process of raising $18,000.

“We were going to do a dine and donate. Where I think 40% of whatever money that some of the restaurants downtown make will help to our cause,” said Swope.

She said her and Holloway went into the project blind, but Hejka and the DDA have been a big help.

They’ve created a GoFundMe and donations are rolling in.

Leon and Lulu is going to kick in $500 to give it another little jump,” said Curtin, who also owns the store.

The two 10th graders are learning as they go.

“It helps me get more involved with the community and made me feel better about the place I live in,” said Holloway.

“Clawson is the little city with the big heart,” Swope said. “One thing I really learned is that people are willing to help and it’s a good feeling.”

Hejka said he couldn’t be more impressed with all of his students’ passion to make a difference.

“Our future is in good hands. These kids are representative of the subsequent generations.”

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.