Kelly Misch, 440-285-4052, ext. 409
Drive to give
In the spirit of kindness and giving, Hilltopper students teamed up this season through their schools’ food drives and produced robust outcomes for those in need in the community. Chardon Middle School, Park Elementary School and Chardon Early Learning Center hosted food drives for distribution to the Geauga County Hunger Task Force at Pilgrim Christian Church in Chardon.
Chardon Middle School students contributed a whopping 2,115 packaged food items. The school’s student council and builders club also delivered the donations and organized them for the food pantry.
“So proud of all these kids,” said CMS guidance counselor Karin Hillman who serves as the advisor to the school’s student council.
In celebration of their success, the school hosted a “turkey ball” volleyball tournament on Nov. 23, matching student teams against staff teams as the school assembly cheered them on in the gymnasium.
Over the course of 12 days beginning on Nov. 1, Park Elementary students brought in a steady stream of non-perishable foods to their school with a goal of 400 food items by Nov. 12, a project the school titled Kindness Matters.
As an incentive, for every food item donated to Kindness Matters, a single paper chain link was created. Each chain link was connected to another so that students could see their kindness grow throughout the school hallways and wrap all around the interior of the building.
Grant Rosplock, a first-grade student in Tammy Carver’s class, kicked off the project with the school’s first donation on Nov. 1, earning him the opportunity to make the first paper link.
Park Hilltoppers far surpassed their goal, reaching a total of 1,830 food items by the conclusion of the drive. Third-grade students in teacher Sara Omlor’s class amassed the largest quantity of donations of all the school’s classrooms.
Chardon High School National Honor Society students assisted with the Park Elementary project, including the loading of trucks and delivering the donations to the food pantry.
Munson Honors Veterans Through Service Projects
Munson Elementary’s Veterans Day committee, which currently consists of nine staff members, is a transplanted initiative that initially began at Hambden Elementary School and transferred over to Munson Elementary when the district reconfigured schools in 2018-19. Throughout the month of November, the committee encourages student participation in a number of service geared specifically in service to veterans.
This year’s projects included DeJohn Funeral Homes’ Stockings for Soldiers initiative;a warming drive held at Walmart in Chardon in conjunction with the Sub Zero Mission on Nov. 6; and the school’s week-long Penny Wars campaign..
Through the Stockings for Soldiers project, Munson Elementary families contributed nearly 100 stockings filled with everyday essential items, including toothpaste, soap, gum and snacks for troops overseas and local veterans. The school has participated in this project for the past several years.
The warming drive drew in community members on a Saturday afternoon, donating coats, hats, socks, gloves and sleeping bags — which Sub Zero Mission dubs “the stay alive 5”, as well as monetary contributions.
November 2021 proved to be the record-breaking year for the school’s Penny Wars project. It was a hard-fought battle with the leading classroom changing several times over the course of the Nov. 8-12 week.
“Eight out of 12 different classes were in first, second or third place throughout the week,” said educational assistant Rose Romans.
In the end, students raised an impressive $2,256.48 for local veterans projects and groups serving veterans.
“The kids got so excited to hear the daily totals,” said second-grade teacher Melanie Elliott. “It’s fun to hear them strategize.”