Students, staff and families at Wexford Elementary School had a souper response to a 100th Day of School challenge.
After learning about service and making the world a better place for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and in conjunction with the RAMS Way word of the month of cooperation, each grade level was asked to donate 100 non-perishable food items by the 100th day of school (January 31) in the “One Can: Make a Difference 100th Day Food Drive.”
This program was started in years past by Mrs. Kinross, kindergarten teacher, and led this year by second grade teacher Mrs. Samek. Mrs. Samek said the school was hoping to receive 400 food items to donate to North Hills Community Outreach, but they ended up collecting 5,367 items.
The donation challenge sparked what Mrs. Samek describes as “friendly, healthy competition,” with students closely following daily updates to the bulletin board (pictured at right) and progress reports during the morning announcements. The grade level with the highest number of items donated would win a “Camp Under,” which Principal Mrs. Gustafson explains is the opportunity for students to make a tent under their desks where they can read with flashlights provided by the PTO.
Every morning, students would stop by the bulletin board to track the competition. Each soup can icon on the board initially represented 10 food items. As the donations continued to pour in at souprising levels, the PTO adjusted the board so that each can represented 400 items.
Because all grade levels donated so many items, all of the students won the opportunity to experience Camp Under. Grade 3 brought in the most items and won the addition of a flashlight to use at Camp Under and take home afterward.
“I am extremely grateful to all the families, PTO and our staff members for keeping the kids motivated,” said Mrs. Samek. She noted that this time of year, food pantry supplies are often dwindling, and it is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community.