I Want To...
- Woodland Elementary
CCSD students, staff, and families celebrate season of caring
Thanks to the generosity of students, staff, and families in the Cherry Creek School District, the winter holidays will be happier for many people in need. Here are just a few of the many community service projects going on in our schools during this time of year as we strive to fulfill our mission “to inspire every student to think, to learn, to achieve, to care.”
Mountain Vista Elementary Girls on the Run team: These young athletes wrapped up their fall season with their community impact project. The team of 41 girls and six coaches paired with Colorado Helping Hub to bring in donations for the local non-profit's Winter Backpacks for the Homeless program. Their donations will be assembled into backpacks and handed out to people experiencing homelessness in the community.
Eaglecrest High School Student Council: Student Council members really wanted to give back and say “Thank you!” to three School Resource Officers and their therapy dogs who help students through difficult times and provide day-to-day support for the Raptor community. So, the Student Council organized a doggy toy drive and made three therapy dog baskets, filled with toys and treats. They presented the baskets to the dogs and their officers during the school day and gave the dogs a little extra love and attention.
Cottonwood Creek Elementary Kids Club: The Before & After School families collected and wrapped 11 boxes of gifts filled with care, love, and happiness, which were donated to the First Responders Children’s Foundation. This foundation began in the wake of 9/11 when founder and Chairman, Alfred Kahn, hosted the first annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast just weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Their Toy Express helps children of first responders, including nurses, firefighters, police officers, EMTs, paramedics, medical personnel, and 911 dispatchers. “It is truly spectacular to see all of our families supporting each other and helping others,” said Lori Matsumoto, Kids Club director.
Cherry Creek Innovation Campus: Future Educator Pathway students at CCIC raised $2,200 in order to help people experiencing homelessness. The students filled 51 bags with food for breakfasts, lunches and dinners, along with a grocery store gift card. They delivered the bags to CCSD’s homeless liaisons, who delivered them to families in need in our community.
Dry Creek Elementary: For many years, Dry Creek students, families and staff have partnered with Amigas in Action to sponsor a family in need during the holiday season. This much-loved tradition is supported by families, neighbors, and staff members who purchase gifts for the family, wrap them, and deliver them to the school. This year, the Dry Creek community went above and beyond to provide joy for a family of seven!
West Middle School Student Council: Every year, the WMS Student Council organizes a toy drive in partnership with Volunteers of America Colorado. Student Council members advertised the toy drive as an access class competition: the class with the most toys collected per grade level receives a donut party and the class with the most toys collected will enjoy a pizza party. With one week left to go, they were at 349 toys and counting! After the drive, Student Council members will attend the VOA’s “Wrapping Party” to help wrap all the gift donations and spread holiday cheer!
High Plains Elementary Student Council: Student Council members are dedicated to serving both the school community and the Denver-area community. For the past two years, they partnered with Bags of Fun, an organization that provides bags filled with toys and activities for children fighting long-term or life-threatening illnesses. High Plains students made cards with uplifting messages and helped fill the bags. They also plan to hold a fundraiser for Bags of Fun in the spring.
Cherokee Trail High School DECA Club: DECA Club members kicked off their annual food drive by delivering more than 1,200 grocery bags to local residents on Nov. 26. A week later, they collected the bags, which were filled with more than 4,000 pounds of food! Students then sorted the food so families in need can come to school and choose the foods that will help them the most.
Homestead, Willow Creek, Woodland, and Ponderosa elementary schools: For 24 years, Billie Jo Hammer, a now-retired Ponderosa Special Education paraeducator, has organized an “adopt a family” campaign to help families in need during the holidays. Students, families, and staff members from Homestead, Willow Creek, Woodland, and Ponderosa elementary schools team up with community members to provide gifts and necessities to families that need a little extra support during these difficult times. Nearly 100 families have been adopted this year and will enjoy a happier holiday season, thanks to this heartfelt partnership.
Eaglecrest High School National Honor Society: NHS members sewed 50 100% cotton pillowcases for patients at Children’s Hospital. NHS volunteer coordinator Duc-Tri Do organized the project and the NHS officer corps worked to build a schedule around students’ lunch periods in order to have as many people working together as possible!
Belleview and Sagebrush elementary schools: These two elementary schools work together to provide holiday gifts for local families in need. Last year, they collected more than 500 gifts to fulfill the wishes of 42 families. Through the collective efforts of community members, families, and staff they are working to fulfill the wishes of 64 families this year!
Cherry Creek Elevation: During one of Elevation’s “Brick Days,” students had the opportunity to decorate meal bags for Project Angel Heart, an organization that prepares and delivers medically tailored meals to Coloradans living with severe illnesses. Elevation students and staff members decorated more than 50 meal bags, which will bring a little extra joy to Project Angel Heart clients this holiday season.