Whether it’s crazy hair and wearing tie dyed clothes or an incentive of a dance party, Lakota schools are incorporating plenty of creative ways to generate donations for the ninth annual district-wide food drive.
Starting this past Monday, Oct. 17, schools have gotten into the ‘Reach In for Reach Out’ effort that benefits Reach Out Lakota. Hosted by the Lakota Board of Education, the initiative is the single largest source of donations all year long for the local non-profit food and clothing pantry.
At Independence Elementary, the drive is student-led, with the school’s Team Inspire collaborating with the PTA on a special spirit week. Tied to the character trait of the month, be responsible, students are showing their responsibility to the community by bringing in their canned food donations.
According to Kelly Carstens, school counselor, the week is designed as a way for students "to reach out to our community and to one another. The 79 students in our 6th grade Team Inspire created the idea and made posters and announcements. Each day focuses on a different fun activity and a collection of items.”
In addition to ‘Reach In for Reach Out,’ students are also collecting books for the Jeffrey Thomas Hayden Foundation and Children’s Hospital – and the students themselves. “We are encouraging new friendships and empathy as we help everyone to feel empowered and to learn the joy of helping others,” explains Carstens.
Freedom Elementary’ s student council chose a different tactic, using the collection as part of an exercise routine called “Get Fit While You Sit.” Every student who brings in at least two canned goods or other item gets to participate.
At Liberty Early Childhood School, they’ve implemented a “friendly competition” with the team making the most donations treated to a dance party during the school day. By including all classes from preschool to first grade, each student has the opportunity to learn about giving back to the community.
That’s a concept that continues even to the high schools. At Lakota West, the classes that bring the most items receive lunch and other prizes. And Principal Elgin Card has challenged all of the Lakota West feeder schools to join in the competition, with the class at each elementary school collecting the most items receiving a donut party. “We want them to pay it forward at a young age so that it is second nature when they are in high school,” he states.
The community can also get involved, with nonperishable food items and personal care products being collected at all Lakota schools now through Oct. 26. Or, items can be brought to the Oct. 28 East versus West football game, with the winner of the food drive announced during the halftime ceremonies.
Click here to view a food drive flyer that include a list of items most needed by Reach Out Lakota.
All year long, Lakota students and staff work tirelessly to support causes that make a difference in the lives of others right here in West Chester and Liberty townships. After all, the best way to show our appreciation for a community that gives our schools so much is to give right back to it. Look for more “Lakota Gives Back” stories as the year continues.