Highland students reach out and lift up at Extended Table
Garfield Re-2 Director of Communications
Highland Elementary third and fourth graders filled the Rifle United Methodist Presbyterian Church with spritely spirit and holiday giving last Thursday, Dec. 21.
The seven young ladies are members of Highland Elementary teacher Holly Bosley’s Destination Imagination team and the Highland Student Council. Decked out in their green and red elf costumes, reindeer ensemble and lots of holiday spirit, the group served up helpings of homemade chicken alfredo with pasta, rolls, veggies and pink lemonade as part of the Extended Table – the bi-weekly “soup kitchen” that is operated by LIFT-UP.
“We’re here because our community and the people that live here are important to me,” shared fourth-grader Hayden Wheeler.
“It makes me feel happy because I get to talk to new people and give them food,” added classmate Yasmin Rodriguez-Cruz.
The project started through Mrs. Bosley’s Destination Imagination team’s desire to complete a community service project, one they hope their school will officially adopt into the future.
Mrs. Bosely, the DI team and Student Council sponsor, invited LIFT-UP office manager Carisa Berrett to share with her groups the opportunities offered by LIFT-UP for students to help their community.
“They fell in love with the idea of helping to feed community members that need a little help,” Bosley explained. “We came last week to learn what to do and the Destination Imagination kids invited some of the student council kids to come and participate.”
The students and their families cooked and served the food that was served days before Christmas. They also washed the dishes, cleaned the tables and swept the floors after the meal.
“In both DI and student council, we talk about how the best leaders are servants to their community,” Bosley said. “As a group, they saw a need and thought this would be a good way to serve their community.”
Brisey Rives added that they specifically chose the Thursday before Christmas as a date they wanted to serve.
“We wanted to celebrate the holidays by being kind and providing food for to other people that may not have a warm home to go to,” she explained.
The Highland Elementary students will be issuing a challenge to their classmates when they return to school in January.
“They really want to make it a movement in our school,” Bosley explained. “In other communities, students help at the Extended Table. We are going to challenge other Highland classes to participate and maybe even extend it to other schools.”
According to the LIFT-UP website, the Extended Table (soup kitchen) is part of LIFT-UP’s programing and began in 1995 by members of The Glenwood Mennonite Church with support from other area churches. The Extended Table was brought under the umbrella of LIFT-UP to make it a community service that would not be associated with any particular church or individual, and to provide a channel for people to donate to the outreach.
In Rifle, meals are served Tuesdays & Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Rifle United Methodist Presbyterian Church, Lovell Building, 200 E. 4th St. For more information about LIFT-UP’s Extended Table call 970-625-4496.