The Richmond Register

January 12, 2013

‘The importance of giving back’

Clark-Moores students perform, learn about charitable acts

By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Clark-Moores Middle School students helped “Granny” carry her groceries, stacked a canned-food pyramid and scrambled for scattered pop tabs at the “Giving Back to the Community” Renaissance pep rally Friday.

These fun activities represented acts of helping others and were a part of a day organized by educators to “show our students the importance of giving back,” said family and consumer science teacher Billie Kelly.

Earlier in the day, students rotated through presentations given by local charities to learn about different ways to be help others.

Around 20 organizations were represented, including Hope’s Wings, Grace Now, Kentucky National Guard, Baptist Health, Home Meals Delivery, Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Kenwood Nursing Home, Toys for Tots and the Ty Lucas Foundation.

One segments in the rotation focused on school service. Students were asked to scrub bleachers, pick up garbage, clean the windshields of the cars in the school parking lot and write thank-you notes to the charity presenters.

Friday’s pep rally was the second of a three-part series emphasizing the yearlong Renaissance theme of “Believe in your school. Believe in your community. Believe in yourself.”

The Renaissance pep rallies, conducted every year, recognize students for achievement in academics, attitude and attendance, Kelly said.

Students who earn all A’s get a chance to win $100 by spinning a wheel, she said. On Friday, students had the option to give at least 10 percent or more of the winnings to one of the local charities.

The winning tribe (the school, whose mascot is the Braves, is divided into six “tribes”) of the “helping others” games was awarded a special field trip to deliver food and present donations to the charities.

Clark-Moores students have also been finding other ways to give back to their school through 26 Random Acts, an activity created in honor of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14.

All week, students have been performing random acts of kindness for their peers and teachers.

For example, one student put all the chairs up in a classroom for his teacher without being asked. Another student found a wallet and returned it. Some students are choosing to sit by someone they usually wouldn’t sit by, Kelly said.

These random acts are announced at the end of each school day over the loudspeakers, along with the names of students who were “Caught Being Good,” an activity the school “has been doing for years,” Kelly said.

Teachers turn in students who were “caught” being good and anywhere between one and 10 students are honored every month.

One teacher secretly puts up a sign in the yards of the students’ during the night to share the news with their parents, Kelly said.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at cwylie@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.