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Princeton schools come together for community

Corben Stevens.

Even in the middle of a pandemic, Princeton ISD has stepped up for the community with this year’s annual food drive to benefit families through the Angel Tree program.

This was once again a coordinated effort with the local Lions Club, and volunteers have been busy this week sorting donations to prepare for next week’s distribution. Student groups from PHS have joined forces with Lions Club members and the ministerial alliance, Christ Cares 4 Princeton.

A total of 24,572 items were donated during campus-wide drives across the district during the month of November. This sets a new record and exceeds last year’s total by 3,229.

Bryanna Barraza, Shayle Pierce and Jahleo Jackson.

Harper Elementary was the BIG winner with 8,137 items collected, followed by Smith Elementary with 4,332 donations and Southard Middle School with 2,562.

Campus donation totals:

Canup 1,816

Godwin 1,467

Harper 8,137

Lacy 2,245

Lowe 1,648

Smith 4,332

Clark 1,168

Southard 2,562

PHS 1,197

Matteo Hernandez, Daisy Barreto, Kendra Singleton, Monica Arevalo and Raul Ayala.

Harper dubbed its drive theme the “Hunger Heroes,” and Assistant Principal Jason Brown offered his help in the form of Batman, who visited the campus and hung out with the big donors during their recess time on the playground.

“Batman made quite a few appearances on campus this year, and it was a good to incorporate him with our contest,” Mr. Brown said. “It was a little extra motivation because each week Batman had recess with the class with the highest number of donations.”

Smith students dropped off donations as they arrived at school.

Each campus turned the food drives into a contest, offering incentives for the most donations. Smith Elementary, which filled 136 boxes with food, will offer upcoming rewards to the top three classes, including a movie and popcorn party with candy and drinks for the grand prize, and Wendy’s Frostys and Sonic drinks for the runners-up.

“We want to thank everyone who donated and made this our most successful food drive yet,” Smith counselor Katie Aldridge said.

This annual effort is not just about food, it’s about community, and Kate Read, who is an officer with the National Jr. Honor Society that spear-headed the effort at Southard, summed it up best.

Southard teacher Michael Charles gets some help from Thomas Gutierrez moving food donations.

“Our community should hold a special place in our heart, and one of the ways to give back to it is through the food drive,” Kate said. “The food drive allows us to share what we have with those less fortunate than us. By donating food to the drive, we are not only feeding someone unable to provide for themselves or their family but spreading love through our community. The more love, the closer we become, and the stronger. In the end, the food drive is one of the best ways to give back to your community.”

Ryan Gerfer's PHS students sort food donations.