Rifle Middle School students participated in a schoolwide effort to support the community and local organizations through an annual food drive. The collective efforts of nearly 800 students and staff yielded 2,148 food items, which filled holiday food baskets for 94 community families.
This year's food drive was not only meant to aid LIFT-UP and St. Mary's Catholic Parish in their outreach efforts. It was the vehicle to lead students in acts of "Service, Citizenship and Teamwork," the school's motto for a new call to community efforts, titled "Community Cubs."
In the past, prizes were awarded to those classes that donated the most food items. School administrators wanted to tie these efforts to community service, with the prize being the satisfaction of helping others. A Community Cubs banner was created as a "traveling trophy," with local screenprinting business Summit Sun donating time and print work on the banner.
With an added incentive being the winning class picture with the Community Cubs banner perhaps published in the local newspaper, the students rose to the challenge in an amazing way.
Students and staff were updated with videos in the morning announcements regarding which class was ahead with the number of items collected. It's amazing what a little friendly competition can do. Combine that with a community focus and everyone comes out a winner.
This year's homeroom classes that collected the most food items were: Mr. Allen, grade 5; Ms. Smyth, grade 6; Mrs. Johnson, grade 7, and Mrs. Allen, grade 8.
We couldn't have done this without the support of our parent community, either. Special thanks to our student council kids under the direction of Chris Miller and Nancy Hauer. Each day, they collected and counted the food drive items, as well as labeled many of the items with facts regarding the importance of reading and math, and how each of these contributes to a quality life.
Council members who showed exemplary support and dedication include Tyler Church, Brayden Burgess, Taylor Dion, Dalton Stutsman, Ricky Alvarado, Alexa Lawson, Ashley Manera, Danika Edwards, Jacey Hauer, Alexis Dormio, Kiana Domingo, Peyton Caldwell, Aaron Hosack, and Makenna Sturgeon.
We're proud of all of our Community Cubs, and we hope many of them experienced the kind of satisfaction that only comes from helping others.
Cheryl Carpenter is the reading facilitator/coach at Rifle Middle School.