POINT PLEASANT — Students at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School (PPJ/SHS) recently collected nearly 6,000 non-perishable food items for a school-wide food drive.
Principal William Cottrill shared Lesley Dvosis, special education/social studies instructor, approached him about holding a school wide, junior high and high school students combined, “Block the Door” food drive. The goal for the students was to collect enough cans to completely barricade a teacher’s door. If the students accomplished this challenge, then that teacher’s class was canceled for the entire day and the students were able to participate in fun activities for that class period. Students collected the food items for their homeroom classrooms.
For the duration of the food drive, which was approximately one month long, 19 total homeroom classrooms were successfully “blocked” with donated items such as canned foods, ramen noodles, boxes of macaroni and cheese, various boxes of stuffing, boxes of scalloped potatoes, and boxes of jello.
Cottrill commented within his 17 years of being at PPJ/SHS this is the most successful food drive the school has held. He was hoping for at least 1,000 food items and his students came out with 5,839 food items total with three-fourths of the collection going to the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church’s food pantry and one-fourth of the collection going to the school’s food/clothes pantry.
Though the incentive to have class cancelled for a day was alluring to the students, Cottrill shared his students care for their fellow classmates and are interested in helping others.
“They (students) realize that there are people in need in this community and I’ve always got kids coming to my office with ideas on ‘how we can help…,’” said Cottrill. “As a faculty, part of our vision statement this year is learning for all, but not only learning also by meeting their (students) social needs, their physical needs, and their academic needs, and that’s just another part where we can go back and say that’s meeting their physical needs…because if a kid can’t eat, they’re not going to learn.”
Erin Perkins is a staff writer from Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.