Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 16, 2012

Club learns community service is hard work

Mike James
The Independent

ASHLAND — Newly inducted Beta club members at Oakview Elementary got their first taste of community service this week during a food drive that involved the entire school.

Children at Oakview donated about 800 cans, boxes and packages of food for the drive.

Members of the student service club did the heavy lifting, organizing the food by category, loading it into laundry baskets and lugging the baskets down the hall for overnight storage.

Toting laundry baskets full of cans was hard-core work, as one young member groaned, but the end result was food in the stomachs of some of their less fortunate classmates.

Counselor Chad Tackett, who conducts counseling class once a week for students in all grades, organized the drive after talking to them about kindness to others. “I challenged them to bring one can each and they went above and beyond the challenge,” Tackett said, surveying an office piled high with food.

The drive netted enough food to fill 15 baskets. The club bought rolls and the Oakview PTO bought 15 turkeys.

Working with the district’s family resource center, Tackett identified 15 Oakview needy families. Some of them are families of children in the district’s weekend backpack program, which sends food home so children won’t go hungry on Saturday and Sunday. The other families were identified through the family resource center.

Family members were to come to school today to pick up their baskets, Tackett said.

“It makes us feel happy that we can help the community and our fellow classmates,” said club member Luke Alley.

“We thought we would get 70 cans but we got 20 baskets. It was so much we had to overload them,” said classmate and fellow club member Haleigh Baer. That shows Oakview students did a good thing, she said.

The Beta members are all sixth-graders and have just been inducted in the club, which is for students in fifth grade through high school, said club sponsor Leslie Link. The club looks for children who meet high academic and personal conduct standards. The food drive is their first service campaign.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.