Kid's Community College Southeast Elementary Charter School in Riverview is helping to meet the needs of the community's hungry.
The International Baccalaureate program's Cougar Care Club has been collecting donations of nonperishable food for the Emergency Care Help Organization in Brandon, which provides food and clothing to needy residents.
The Cougar Care Club is an after-school organization that focuses on community service. It meets each Thursday at 3:15 p.m.
Community service is one of the elements of the International Baccalaureate program.
Interested parents met with the school's director of charter operations, Jake Morrow, at the beginning of the year to discuss their hopes and plans for KCC SE.
From that group arose the Campus Parent Advisory, which began to implement several of the ideas that were suggested in that meeting, one of which was an after-school program that would create opportunities for KCC SE to learn about the community and contribute to the betterment of it.
Amy Heinzen, mother of first-grader Julia, accepted the task of leading the newly named Cougars Care Club. To date, the club has 22 members and had to close the membership.
The students involved with this after-school club have created gift Parent Snack Bags for the Ronald McDonald House by decorating paper bags then filling them with nonperishable snacks. The club completed 50 bags for the first delivery and another 50 for a delivery over Thanksgiving.
The students also are learning how to care for their community beyond their school and home.
They serve as "Ambassadors" for the Cougars Care Club projects in their classrooms, standing in front of their class and sharing the need for donations and contributions for the CCC projects.
The club's latest project was ECHO collection.
ECHO Brandon is a food pantry and clothing assistance source for residents of the greater Brandon area who have experienced a recent emergency. Since its inception in 1987, ECHO has provided food assistance and clothing assistance to more than 130,000 Brandon area residents, more than half of whom were children.
Each classroom had a decorated box in which students were asked to deposit nonperishable food items such as canned meats, jelly, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, canned fruit, canned pasta, rice, and macaroni and cheese,
Students also collected new socks, children's underwear and disposable diapers.
The decorated collection boxes in your classrooms are in place to receive the donations that your students bring in. Help us increase our donations by sharing with your homeroom parent(s) the Cougars Care requests.
At the most recent club meeting, the students began writing to international pen pals.
Kid's Community College Southeast Elementary Charter School is located at 6528 U.S. 301 S., Suite 114, Riverview.