RHS Continues to Give Back to the Community
Rugby High School continues to teach its students not only the basic principles of education, but also all the important life lessons they will need to prosper in life. This year they chose to give to others less fortunate and raise food for the Pierce County Food Pantry.
This wonderful and needed gesture started as a suggestion from the Response to Intervention (RTI) committee to the RHS Mentorship Program, a program created by the RTI committee. The committee focuses on early identification and support of students with learning and behavioral needs. The mentorship program was set up to ensure that each student at RHS had at least one-adult advocate.
The goal of the mentorship program is to build positive relationships with students and to provide necessary supports in the areas of academics, college and career readiness, social-emotional guidance, school transitions, character building and community service projects. The needs and interests of students do and will continue to drive this program. Sessions are structured to provide high levels of interaction between students and their mentors, as well as activities that allow for informal interaction opportunities.
“The whole goal was to form a relationship with the kids and work with them for the betterment of the community”, said RHS Principal Jared Blikre. According tohim, the food bank was the perfect choice for such an endeavor.
To make it more interesting they decided to make it a competition. The idea was for each class to create a basket. The items required for the basket to make it complete and count towards the score were: canned soups (2), canned veggies, boxed side (2), canned protein (2), condiments (2), juice, cereal (2), and a dessert. The winner would get a mentor group party catered by Envision.
Rita Sveet’s group created the most complete packages and won the competition. “We wanted to make a positive impact to foster good will. Activities like these are important to connect kids with people in need and how they can help” said Sveet.
One of her students, Robert Russell, showed his compassion for the cause by creating the most baskets and according to Russell, “It was no big deal” When asked why it was so easy to him he said, “There are people in need in our community, and it easy to do all you can to help them.” It was truly a labor of love.
Principal Blikre shared, “We felt it was a great success and we are proud of our student efforts.” Without seniors, there were over 225 kids from grades 7th through 11th that participated in this worthwhile project according to Blikre “Basically the food drive is something to instill in kids to give back to the community and get involved.”
The food pantry welcomed the help. “It saved us a lot of work this month,” said Vonnie Degenstein of the Pierce County Food Pantry. “We added the frozen items and meats, but the high school students collected all the canned items, juices and cereals and put them all into baskets.”
Degenstein said the need for canned goods has increased, as the Pierce County Food Pantry now serves an estimated 60 families in the area. “The high school did a great job,” Degenstein said.
Rugby Junior and Senior High School students donated more than 2200 pounds to the Pierce County Pantry and 83 complete baskets with a lot of extra items. “It was such a great way for our students to come together. It was great to see them so proud of their accomplishment. They were so happy to be making such a positive difference by helping out people in our community” said Ashley Stricker, a teacher and one of the organizers of the program.
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