Students and schools show caring spirit

December 10, 2013

Students and schools are showing their caring spirit during this holiday season. Here are a few examples of how they are caring for others and showing the true meaning of the season. 

Allen Elementary School/Wanke Elementary School

The PTA presidents from Wanke Elementary School and Jerry D. Allen Elementary School joined together to meet the needs of the Allen students and community. When Major Charles Hasberry, Jr., PTA president from Wanke, called Jeanette Alff, PTA president from Allen, and asked her what the students on her campus were most in need of, he was surprised to hear that the campus was in need of children’s underwear, socks, and other toiletries. Hasberry quickly got to work with his PTA and held a successful “Undies and Toiletries Drive.”

Pictured: (left to right) Erika Zagala, Vice Principal of Allen Elementary; Guadalupe Ybarra, Community Liaison of Allen Elementary; Major Charles Hasberry, Jr., PTA President of Wanke Elementary; Maria Elena Meza, Principal of Allen Elementary

Behlau Elementary School

Over a 40-day period, students at Behlau Elementary School participated in a goal setting activity to raise money for the San Antonio Food Bank. Eric Cooper, President and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank, talked to the students about the food needs in San Antonio stating that one in four children are unsure of where their next meal would be coming from and sometimes go to bed hungry. Collectively, the school goal was $860. Students got so caught up in the fundraising and the desire to help others, that they ended up donating their allowances, gave up lunch treats and toys, and even gave money from the tooth fairy. In the end, they raised enough money to provide 8,785 meals or to purchase 12,550 pounds of food. In a special ceremony the school presented a check to the San Antonio Food Bank for $1,255. 

Pictured: (left to right) Pam Tyler, Association of Fundraising Professionals; Jody Fries, Behlau Elementary Principal; Eric Cooper, CEO and President of San Antonio Food Bankl; and Arcelia Pena, Behlau Elementary Counselor.

Carson Elementary School

The Carson Elementary School Student Council took a trip to the Mystic Park Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center to spread some holiday cheer. After passing out Christmas crafts and cards to the residents in the dining room, they went caroling for the rest of the residents through the halls. 

Driggers Elementary School

This year students from Driggers Elementary School were asked to decorate the Christmas tree at the Northside Testing Annex building. Students were given the assignment of recreating Dale Chihuly’s art work which is usually in the form of colored spirals of blown glass. The students used recycled water bottles and acrylic paint to fashion the decorations. The reviews have been shining just as brightly as the tree.

Folks Middle School

The Folks Middle School National Junior Honor Society held its first annual wrapping party to help out local charity Elf Louise. Members met at the Elf Louise facility after school and stayed for two hours wrapping gifts for over 15 families. 

“It was a lot of fun,” said 8th grader Devin Norman. “I really liked getting to pick out the gifts for the little kids.” Norman was joined by his mother and older brother, a student at Business Careers High School.  Most of the NJHS members made it a family affair, wrapping with parents and siblings.

Pictured:  (left to right) Hunter Dalton, Devin Norman, Kayleigh Edsell, Walker Dalton, Victoria Lloyd, and Darian Norman.

Franklin Elementary School/Scarborough Elementary School

To promote the idea of philanthropy and giving back to the common good of society, ALPHA students from Franklin and Scarborough elementary schools and their families, volunteered at the San Antonio Food Bank Saturday, Dec. 14. They assisted in packing 44,654 pounds of food which is enough for 34,886 meals for those in need during the holidays. 

Hector Garcia Middle School

Staff and students at Hector Garcia Middle School held a friendly, charity dodgeball tournament to benefit the San Antonio Food Bank.

Coach Cynthia Glosup and the coaching staff spent weeks organizing the event. Fourteen teams signed up and each team member donated two cans of food.  After school the gym was packed with spectators of all ages, and each also brought two cans of food as the price for admission.

The original 14 teams were reduced to a team of History teachers and a strong team of mostly 8th grade students. While the History Department ultimately won the tournament, the San Antonio Food Bank won the day with an enormous amount of food and cash donations. In total, the school collected 2,165 pounds of food and $132, which equals 1,320 pounds of food. The San Antonio Food Bank estimates that the 3,485 total pounds will result in 2,723 meals.

Helotes Elementary School

During advisory class, students at Helotes Elementary School created specially designed placemats with caring messages for Meals on Wheels of San Antonio. The placemats were delivered to individuals receiving meals from the non-profit organization during the month of November. The purpose of the project was to inspire students to demonstrate the Pillar of Caring.

Pictured: (left to right) Carolyn Lanford, Diego Hernandez, Adriana Delagarza, Alyssa

Holmes High School

Holmes High School held a “Canstruction” event to highlight hunger in Bexar County and Texas. The event was part of the new Leadership 2 curriculum which centers on service learning. Leadership 2 students partnered with various campus organizations such as ROTC, NHS, EHS, and the Interact Club to build a sculpture out of cans.

Elective classes visited the sculpture to view the Canstruction Hunger Awareness display, which was accompanied by posters with facts and statistics about hunger in the area. The event was also a call to donate to Coach Steve Barlow’s annual Run-a-Thon which raises money to buy perishable items to be added to the food baskets provided to needy families in the Holmes area each year.  

Jordan Middle School

The Jordan Middle School 7th and 8th grade football teams organized Operation Jaguar Support to send care packages to troops overseas in Afghanistan this holiday season.  After starting the project, they found out that a teacher on campus has a brother in a Special Forces unit overseas. Together the athletes collected and shipped a truck load of food, toiletries, and other items that will be a big surprise to that unit. 

Pictured: 7th grade athletes with some of the items donated to Operation Jaguar Support

Knowlton Elementary School

Students from the Learning Tree program at Knowlton Elementary School showed their caring spirit by presenting blankets to the children housed at the Salvation Army San Antonio Area Command Emergency Shelter. The blankets were handmade by the students and their parents at a Spirit of Giving family engagement event hosted during National Parental Involvement Day. Campus Learning Tree coordinator Ana Elia Jasso worked with a local Walmart to secure the fleece materials used to construct the 40 blankets.

Leon Springs Elementary School/Mead Elementary School

Leon Springs Elementary School wrapped up their annual project "Weekdays of Giving" which brings the holiday spirit alive for their sister school, Mead Elementary School through the PTA Title I Campus Adoption Program. For five days, the students and community at Leon Springs brought in food, toiletries, and clothes. It’s a team effort to make the project a success. At-risk assistant, Mrs. Greathouse and her "elves" did a daily sweep in each classroom to gather donated goods. Head Custodian Stephanie Luna helped organize and store the items. Mead then sent a team of holiday helpers, counselors Yvonne Ortiz and Marco Tijerina, Admin Intern Valerie Rabadan, and teacher Chris Charouchi, for the massive pick up of two truck-loads of items! Hundreds of students give, and hundreds of students receive: truly a win-win in holiday spirit for everyone!

May Elementary School

The May Elementary School Student Council held a ‘Toys for Tots’ drive to collect gifts to give to needy children this holiday season. Student Council members made posters, flyers, and announcements to encourage participation. The students' generosity was evident as three large boxes were filled to the brim with toys. 

Pictured: (top row left to right)Yi Liu, Sarah Bonnett, Robbie Cole, Haley Russell, and Makenna Garcia. (bottom row left to right) Lauren Tovar, Abby Robertson, Abby Zuniga, Reagan Resendiz, and Emily Martinez.

Mireles Elementary School

The Military Kids Club and ALPHA program at Mireles Elementary School teamed up to raise money in support of Jayci’s Wreaths for Heroes, which partners with Wreaths Across America to purchase wreaths to place on soldier’s graves during the holidays. The Mireles community raised $2,595 which will purchase 259 wreaths to honor fallen soldiers at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. National Wreaths Across America Day is Dec. 14. Jayci’s Wreaths for Heroes was started by Jayci Derby, an 8th grader at Stevenson Middle School.

Nichols Elementary School

The Military Pride group at Nichols Elementary School honored fallen heroes by collecting money for Wreaths Across America. Each classroom had a paper wreath on their door and students and staff purchased paper leaves for $1 to add to the wreaths. All the proceeds that were donated over the course of a week were then donated to Wreaths Across America. 

Pictured is the Nichols ES Military Pride Group holding the top 3 winning classes’ wreaths and posters made to publicize the project. From left to right: Morgan Centeno, Madilyn Centeno, Isabella Moyer, Alyssa Salinas, Cameron Stone, Brendan Carson, Wesley Carson, Kiersten Mainville, J.J. Buczek, Sonia Soto, Leah Guerrero, Ahman Melles, Jillian Lambert, Sierra Steele, Veronica Blount, and Savannah Steele.

Pupil Personnel Department

The Pupil Personnel Department collected two huge boxes of toys for SAPD's Blue Santa Program, which distributes gifts to needy children. They were thrilled to give the toys to SAPD officers from Prue substation and are even happier to know that their donations will bring smiles to childrens' faces this Christmas!

Pictured from left to right are: SAPD Officer Nicole Quintanilla, Yesenia Merlo, Darby MacKaron, Rita Garcia, Vicky Sullivan, Pam Gould, and SAPD Officer Scott Boehm.

Raba Elementary School

Fifth grader Mia Lara decided to head up her own toy drive to show her holiday spirit. With help from her “BFF” Imani Jarret, Mia created flyers, decorated and displayed collection boxes, and spread word of the Holiday Toy Drive. The girls’ efforts and collections were warmly received by the non-profit Arms of Hope.

Pictured are: Walter Williams from Arms of Hope, his daughter Macey, and Raba students Imani Jarret and Mia Lara.

Rawlinson Middle School/McDermott Elementary School

Students in the Interact Club at Rawlinson Middle School collected more than 200 gifts to give to students at McDermott Elementary School.

Pictured is Counselor Teri Myers admiring all the beautifully-wrapped gifts for the students on her campus. 

Ross Middle School

Twenty seven members of the Ross Middle School National Junior Honor Society recently spent two hours working in the wrap room at Elf Louise. This is the twelfth year that Ross NJHS has volunteered and donated tape to Elf Louise. Students know that their efforts will put a smile on the face of children who are in need this Christmas.

Pictured is Ross Principal Lisa McConoghy with students Lily Schouten-Hernandez, Alice Medina, and Karina Rodriguez.

Stevens High School

The GT Leadership students at Stevens High School held a pep rally on Dec. 10 in support of their service learning project, Operation: From Stevens with Love. The Spurs Coyote was a special guest and entertained the audience. Organizations were recognized for their support in creating care packages that were sent to deployed servicemen. The GT Leadership students are semi-finalists in this year’s Spurs Team Up Challenge.

Pictured are (from l-r) Fernando Diaz, Aren Rodriguez, Jheri Longoria, Mikayla Dominguez, Aylin Zamora, Alex Guajardo, and Abry Davila.

Timberwilde Elementary School

Choo! Choo! Here comes the Timberwilde Elementary School food train, loaded with 4,558 pounds of food for the San Antonio Food bank. Local HEB stores donated brown bags for students and parents to fill. The school’s goal was 3,000 pounds of food. WOAI came on campus to capture the food train in action and interview students.   

Warren High School

The Warren Warriors Woodworker's Club (W3C) gave back to the community this Christmas by using their woodworking skills to build 10 wooden rocking horses for the Elf Louise Project.