Friday, December 21, 2012

Topeka Public Schools Give Back



During this season, and throughout the school year, TPS staff and students reflect on the importance of community service and sharing with others. Here is a list of some of the acts of giving/kindness undertaken by our schools:

Topeka High School
The National English Honor Society took books and holiday treats to the Ronald McDonald House for the kids and their families.

Fellowship of Christian Students participated in ShareFest and also adopted a family for Christmas.

Topeka High School MJROTC
Cadets went to the Marine Corps Reserve Center and helped Marines separate toys for the Toys 4 Tots campaign to fit the adopted families orders. Cadets pulled orders, staged toys and at times helped the Marines distribute toys to the numerous families that applied for support in Topeka. They worked a total of 162 hours at the Reserve Center.

Cadets went to Hy-Vee and greeted customers as they arrived to shop at the store several times over three weeks. They accepted food donations from customers as they left the store and helped bag groceries for the cashiers and then carried groceries out to the cars for the customers. They gave about 416 hours to the food drive and support of Hy-Vee.

Cadets walked door to door collecting food donations. They gave 643 estimated hours to the food collection, sorting, staging, and delivering of food to Let’s Help of Topeka.

Cadets went to Wal-Mart and stood with Marines to help sponsor and work the Toys 4 Tots events. They stood with Marines through the day and late into the night working to “fill the seven ton truck for Toys 4 Tots.” An estimated 67 hours of volunteer time was given by cadets for this event.

Cadets stood at Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart to accept donated cans for the Let’s Help Food Drive. They were also asked to bring in cans from their household if they were able to. 11,948 total pounds of dry goods were collected.

Cadets adopted nine families this year. The cadets turned in toys and clothing articles they and their families purchased. They also donated over $700 from their cadet activity account, they had worked for, to help pay for drill competitions and other items needed for the program, to complete the wish lists of the nine families. Cadets delivered gifts to those families who could not pick up their gifts. An estimated 116 hours were spent with the shopping, sorting, wrapping, and delivering the remaining gifts. 

The Christmas Bureau needed help with 35 families who had not yet been adopted. The cadets stepped up and adopted them.

Cadets led the Miracle on Kansas Avenue parade in dress uniform.

Topeka West High School
The Volunteer Initiative group conducted a toy drive from November 15 to December 18. The toys were given to WIBW, the Topeka Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army. The National Honor Society students were bell-ringers and collected money from the entire campus for the drive. The Volunteer Initiative did the shopping. About $500 will be spent on toys for the community.

The Beginning/Advanced Photography staff raised over $700 to donate to 100cameras.org, a not-for-profit organization in New York City that “empowers marginalized children to document their lives through photography and to create positive change in their own communities. One hundred percent of the money from the children's purchased prints is used to raise awareness and capital to meet physical needs and empower sustainable growth within their community.” Five hundred dollars out of the total amount raised at Topeka West was used to purchase a digital camera that a child used in 100cameras' Project004 located in India during the month of October, 2012

The Topeka West High School Cheerleaders and Steppers have adopted an anonymous family from Topeka West for the holidays.

Neil Barbour’s Charger Time class adopted two families through the United Way. His students shopped for, donated money, wrapped presents, and delivered items to the families.

Capital City Schools
During the spring semester of 2012, staff member Steve Greene and his students built raised beds and started a garden. During the summer, Mr. Greene and one summer school student took care of the garden. This act of food raising was continued throughout the summer and when the new Family and Consumer Science teacher arrived this year, she was able to use the garden food. Students in foods classes canned, froze, dehydrated and cooked with food and spices from the garden.

Hope Street
United Hope students volunteered at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. They also helped with set up at the Festival of Trees, and they adopted a family from the Christmas Bureau. Hope Street staff donated gifts and students raised money to buy gifts.

French Middle School
Mrs. Singh’s FACS students are giving a gift of Baby Bibs for new born babies this Christmas.
Students sewed 50 baby bibs. They will be donated to the YWCA health clinic. 


The French Middle School and Topeka West string students are donating a gift card to a classmate's family who lost many possessions in a recent house fire. Eighth grade advisor base classes donated over 400 food items to the Topeka Rescue Mission

Jardine Middle School
Eighth graders have been selling t-shirts and bracelets for a Jardine eighth grader who has to have open heart surgery toward the end of December.

Landon Middle School
Landon Middle School sixth grade Language Arts classes donated over $100 to www.heifer.org, or Heifer International, which is a non-profit organization that provides a sustainable income for those in poverty throughout the world. They purchased a flock of chicks, a flock of geese, a hive of honeybees, and a share of a clean water project.

Staff members Jennifer Stallbaumer and Sharon Austin organized a Fleece Blanket Donation.
Students made 32 fleece blankets and donated them to the Topeka Rescue Mission for clients.

Students adopted a holiday family through the United Way. Gifts and food were collected and donated to the family.

The Student Council participated in Breast Cancer Awareness and walked in the march around the Topeka Capital. They raised $1000 Towards a Cure by baking cookies, making pink hair bows, tailgating and sponsoring a dance to raise funds. 

Over 500 cans of food were donated to Landon Middle School for families in need. Staff members Janet Boos and Jannis Martinez coordinated the delivery of boxes of food to more than 20 Landon families before Thanksgiving. Landon staff shared the responsibility of dropping off boxes at homes.

Staff members have participated in a Secret Santa activity during December. They secretly select a couple of students who deserve or need an extra lift and place surprises in their lockers.

Staff member Janet Boos has been instrumental in obtaining funds to helps students the ACT through the Duke TIP program.

Robinson Middle School
Student Council Members wrote and delivered pen pal Letters to Washburn Residential Care Facility two times, read to them three times, played Bingo with them, played other games with them and made and delivered Thanksgiving and Christmas craft items. They also traveled to Plaza West Nursing Care Facility to decorate their facility for the holidays (unpacking and moving boxes to multiple locations, putting up multiple trees, garlands, and ornaments, etc.).

Swim team members (after school program) made holiday decorations for the Washburn Care Residential Facility.

Students and staff  collected items for the Helping Hands Humane Society.

Bishop Elementary
Mrs. Bryan's Kindergarten class makes friendly cards and holiday cards for anyone that is in the VA Hospital.

Highland Park Central Elementary
Amanda Estrada’s fourth grade students completed four random acts of kindness. They provided a new game for a third grade class, made handmade cards for another fourth grade class, provided fortune tellers and cootie catchers for a fifth grade class and delivered treats to two staff members.
The class that received the postcards “paid it forward” and made cards for another classroom.

Second graders are creating an “Act of Kindness” quilt.  Each student is drawing a picture on a cardboard “square” of the act of kindness they have completed. The “squares” are being stitched together to create a “quilt” which will be displayed in the 2nd grade quad.

Fifth graders are planting a “Kindness Garden”. Each student decides what act of kindness they can do then everyone draws names. When a student completes his/her act of kindness for the student whose name they drew, he/she decorates a paper flower and ‘plants’ it in the bulletin board flower garden.

HPC staff adopted a local needy family for the holidays and collected monetary donations as well as food, clothes, and toys.

Lowman Hill Elementary
So far students and staff brought in 1704 food items for the Salvation Army. The Choir Club has been caroling for the employees at the Carlson Federal building. CAMP Academy adopted a Jardine student who is going to undergo heart surgery. Academy members will bus tables at CICI’s Pizza to help the Jardine student.

McCarter Elementary
Earlier this year, McCarter received a $675 Target gift card from Target for votes received on Facebook. The staff agreed to donate the card and an additional $2,150 they collected to adopt four families. The Journey church pitched in $816. Parents, community members, and several McCarter staff attended a shopping party to help buy gifts. The PTO donated supplies and their talents to wrap the presents. The staff also worked diligently to get an additional fifteen McCarter families adopted for Christmas by Western Hills Baptist Church.

McEachron Elementary
Staff and and students donated a gift card to a McEachron student’s grandmother who lost her home in a fire.

Meadows Elementary
Food boxes are were prepared for 50 Meadows families.

Quincy Elementary
Staff and students participated in a canned good collection to benefit the Topeka Rescue Mission.

Randolph Elementary
Randolph staff, students and parents donated and bought bake sale items for two weeks to benefit Karis Selk and family to help with Karis' cancer treatments.

Randolph fifth graders made birthday cards for the school custodian. They also made cards for New Dore Elementary School. Students created small ornament necklaces for their study buddies in the Randolph kindergarten classroom.

Staff and students provided a holiday meal, Christmas gifts for each family member and household goods to two families through the Volunteer Center of Topeka.

Scott Magnet
Staff adopted a family from the Christmas bureau and also arranged for each Scott student to receive a gift from Santa. 

State Street Elementary
Retired State Street staff knitted and donated over 100 hats and mittens to match for the State Street kindergartners and preschool students.

Stout Elementary
Stout Elementary collected change from students in November and bought a Thanksgiving meal and other groceries for a family from the school.

Whitson Elementary
The staff adopted a Whitson family. The Whitson Student Council sponsored "Fill the Stockings."  Stocking stuffer items were collected and provided to 100 children who are in foster care.

Williams Magnet
Students had a contest to raise money and collected more than $1,000. In addition, staff member Brandon Evans sought donations to add to the total. Money was used to purchase food, gifts and other necessities for six Williams families.

Christmas Ornaments hand made in the Williams art lab and painted by students were donated to Aldersgate Retirement Home, Manor Care Rehab, Plaza West Nursing Home and the Rescue Mission.

Burnett Center
Collected hats, gloves, scarfs and coats to benefit Quincy Elementary children.

Speech and Language Department
The staff attempts to participate in a "caring/giving" event at least once a quarter. In 2012, different staff members served as the chairperson/organizer for individual events. With their leadership the other 39 staff members raised thousands of dollars, in various denominations, for the following organizations:

May 4, 2012 March of Dimes for Babies Walk (Birth Defect Research)
June 1, 2012 Relay for Life (Cancer Research)
July 30, 2012 Smile Train (Providing the surgery for children with cleft lips and palates  in under-developed countries)
October 7, 2012 Making Stride Against Breast Cancer (breast cancer research)
December, 2012 Soles 4 Souls (donating to place shoes on the feet of disaster victims and/or others in need of footwear)

Linn Education Center
Staff member Cheryl Jones collected handmade scarves and hats to go with the scarves to donate to Let's Help as well as the Rescue Mission. Nearly 300 handmade scarves were collected including 60 made by TPS fourth and fifth grade gifted students.