This article submission was written by Suzanne Murray, ELA at Western Hills Middle School.
A group of seventh grade students at in Cranston recently performed an absolutely incredible feat!
The students, led by team teachers Mr. Michael Blackburn, Mrs. Christine Kimball, Mrs. Suzanne M. Murray and Ms. Robin Ruggieri, raised over six hundred dollars to donate to needy students and their families right at Western Hills and baked well over three thousand cookies to give to The Amos House, a non-profit organization in South Providence that feeds over 800 meals a day, as well as provides housing and social services for the needy.
Each year the teachers on the Hot Shot Cobras take the time to discuss with their students the needs of their community and some possible solutions to those needs. The importance of giving, whether it is money or time, is invariably a hot topic.
When the teachers broached the subject to the students about raising money for needy families at Western Hills, their enthusiasm was overwhelming. The incentive… eating lunch with their teachers! Within one week, the students raised over $600 in donations. They asked their parents for money in return for pitching in around the house or, gave up something for lunch and contributed that money to the fund. On Friday of that week, they spent their 25 minute lunch eating with their team teachers, listening to music and playing trivia.
For the third year in a row, the Hot Shot Cobras orchestrated and carried out "The Cookie Express and Delivery Service." This year, however, the students and their families absolutely outdid themselves. They brought in over 250 dozen homemade cookies, along with candy canes, chocolates, ribbons, cookie bags and tins.
They sorted and packaged the cookies themselves and Mr. Blackburn, the team’s Math teacher, delivered them to The Amos House. His experience was something he felt the students really needed to hear so, upon his return to school, he relayed it to them. In turn, the students then wrote about their feelings in regards to the “Cookie Express” and the recipients.
Some of their thoughts were incredible, and many of the same words were repeated over and over again in their essays….make people happy, astonished, thankful, take for granted, sad, proud, grateful, heartbroken, more aware, eager to help out all the time, do more for The Amos House all year round, made a difference. These 78 students learned in a few short weeks what it takes some a lifetime to earn…. Giving is always better than receiving.