Of course we had theme days, twin day, camouflage day, superhero day, and spirit day. Each day brought its own unique set of characters...teachers and students alike.
This year though El Jefe threw a little something new into the mix. A little something that the Student Council spearheaded. A little something that I liked because it brought out the best in the kids, the teachers, and the community.
Two weeks ago a wildfire engulfed a subdivision a couple of miles west of HHS. The plumes of smoke were so big initially that I was able to see them from my house nine miles away. It was astounding. Husband and I drove the nine miles to HHS to see if there was anything that needed to be done. Once there we were assured that there was nothing that could be done at that time so we headed home and worried.
Fifteen structures were lost, too many for those affected but miraculous when you take into account the number of homes in the area.
With this in mind here's what El Jefe proposed. He wanted the StuCo to come up with a way for the student body to raise money for those who'd lost their homes...in a three days. Wow.
What did the StuCo officers propose? Raise one thousand dollars as a goal for the school. Each class, freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior, was to come up with a way to raise a portion of the total. One thousand doesn't sound like much, until you take into account that our student body is three hundred sixty and most come from very humble circumstances.
It was bedlam as each class was trying to out do the other, and I loved it. Their efforts involved, a beautician coming out and putting feathers and tinsel in hair, all her proceeds were donated; breakfast burritos for sale; paying money for a teacher to kiss a pig; baked goods for sale, one freshman girl's mother baked fifteen loaves of bread so that her daughter could in turn sell them and donate the proceeds, this gal made ninety bucks for her class.
The junior class went the extra mile and had a pancake breakfast will all the fixings. One of the class sponsors told me that some of the class members arrived at the school at five thirty in the morning so they could have everything ready to go by seven. Not only did students buy their wares, one octogenarian aged gentleman heard from his niece about the breakfast and stopped by to feast and help the students in their cause.
I teach sophomores, juniors, and a sprinkling of seniors. In an effort to help each of these classes raise a bit more for their coffers, I proposed to my classes the privilege of using their portable electronic devices, cell phones included, in class for a price. PED's are verboten in my classes, use it, get caught, and you won't see it again for a week. Needless to say, they were intrigued. Five dollars bought a week of use without repercussion, ten dollars bought three weeks. I had many takers. And believe me, as soon as they paid the PED's came out.
This ingenious duo of seniors wrote a song and then took orders to serenade the person or class of the buyer's choice. My class was fortunate enough to be the recipient of this lovely idea.
A couple of days after the wildfire, one of the local television stations came to the school to interview the StuCo officers. This interview impacted some of the community members to also contribute to the student's cause. One of these contributors was from Tennessee, she enclosed the following letter with her contribution
Yesterday the total raised was revealed at the Homecoming pep rally. It was massive.
There were two sizable donations made by community members one for five thousand dollars the other for twenty five hundred dollars. Subtract that from the total and you'll see that in three days time the student body at HHS raised five thousand eight hundred three dollars and six cents...I love the six cents. All of it in three days time. Amazing.
How fortunate for those affected by the fire to have such giving students in their community. How fortunate for me to be able to work with such a group. It's times like these that make all the difficult times in a teacher's career mere blips on the radar. Given the opportunity to do good, kids these days will definitely come through.