Briefs: Mobile Junction December 17, 2008

AMY HAMILTON/The Daily Sentinel
CAPROCK ACADEMY FOURTH-GRADERS COMPETE in a school-wide canned food drive. From left, Kyler Ketchum, 9; Elizabeth Hirschbuhl, 10; Kayanna Vidmar, 9; and Caleb Putnam, 9.

Students up the ante on food drive

• Competition can be a good thing.
Especially if it’s for a good cause, like the canned food drive that is pitting classes against each other at Caprock Academy.
On Tuesday, the public charter school has collected a whopping 2,800 pounds of canned food among its 350 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
When the competition was launched about two weeks ago, the school’s headmaster, Kristin Trezise, said she expected students to gather a total of about 600 pounds. On the first day of the drive, students brought in more than that number, about 700 pounds that they weighed on a bathroom scale.
Now students are stockpiling canned goods in their respective homerooms in anticipation of Thursday’s final weighing. The spying has become quite obvious.
“The fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Pond, keeps looking in on us,” said sixth-grader Byrna Sherrill. “We keep looking in on her, too.”
The class that brings in the most pounds of canned goods wins a pizza party.
The donated food benefits the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies. Local food pantries have reported massive declines in donated goods and an increase in need.
Sherrill thinks her class has a shot at bringing in the most food. Sherrill, 11, was slightly pained to part with some of her favorite soup, steak and potato. The thought of winning and giving to others, though, is enough to part with the food, she said.
The competition is getting heated. Mrs. Snow’s part-time kindergarten classroom is leading the drive with 605 pounds of food.
Fourth-graders think they have a chance to one up that number by Thursday. They’ve collected 376 pounds.
The winners won’t be known until Thursday afternoon, the last day of school before the holiday break.
“I have a feeling Thursday morning will be the day to pack it in,” Trezise said.

Toys spill in for Toys for Tots

• Hannah Montana dolls, scooters, Matchbox cars, board games, stuffed animals and every kind of toy imaginable filled the office of New Life Chiropractic, 2532 Patterson Road No. 15, on Tuesday.
Along with Cub Scouts of Troop 353, workers at the clinic spent hours the past few weekends collecting toys from generous shoppers at local Wal-Mart stores.
The presents head to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots site, where they will be distributed to families starting Thursday. Families who would like to receive gifts for their children should call the Mesa County Workforce Center at 248-7560.
A struggling economy has meant fewer donations to the gift-giving program, said Toys for Tots coordinator Rich Griffin.
Last year the nonprofit organization collected 50,000 toys and distributed 46,000 toys. The remainder of last year’s toys and those collected this year will be distributed through next week.
Griffin said folks from as far away as Gunnison have called him, choking back tears when they ask if the organization can help them put something under the tree for their kids this year.
Most needed are items for pre-teens to teenager, ages 11–15.
“A lot of kids out there won’t have toys,” Griffin said. “We want to see that they get smiles on their faces.”
Donations for the program are being accepted at the Army recruiting building at 2502 Highway 6&50, Suite 600C. Donations also are accepted by mail, Toys for Tots at 3112 Americana Drive, Grand Junction, 81504.


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