Parker children lead charge for food-share program

Gold Rush Elementary club shows how to get involved with community service.

Posted 1/14/19

A group of Gold Rush Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders are leading the charge for an inter-school food drive for the Parker Task Force and are encouraging their older classmates to do the …

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Parker children lead charge for food-share program

Gold Rush Elementary club shows how to get involved with community service.

Posted

A group of Gold Rush Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders are leading the charge for an inter-school food drive for the Parker Task Force and are encouraging their older classmates to do the same.

Fifteen Gold Rush students are part of the school's Interact Club, one of the only elementary schools in the state to have such a club. Interact Club is a Rotary-sponsored service club, typically made up of high school students, which gives young people the chance to participate in community service projects. The Gold Rush Interact Club is sponsored by the Cherry Creek Valley Rotary Club.

“These young leaders really show the example for all of us. The whole mission is service above self, so as they become examples and share it with their peers, that's huge, let alone the impact of what they're able to do for an organization like the Parker Task Force,” said Cheryl O'Brien, a member of the Cherry Creek Valley Rotary Club, whose role is to oversee services for young people throughout Parker. “Obviously, they're not afraid to impact their peers. Their passion is strong, and I think your community is a reflection of its members, and this is a reflection of what our community is.”

The Gold Rush Interact Club piloted a food-share program at their school in 2018. During that year, they collected 5,500 food items to fill 198 backpacks.

The Gold Rush students gave a presentation to a massive assembly of Cimarron Middle School students Jan. 11, sharing their success story and offering tips on how the Cimarron students could be part of the action. Cimarron's Interact Club will then do the same for Legend High School, the feeder high school for both schools.

When one Gold Rush student announced how many backpacks they filled last year the group of hundreds of Cimarron students broke out in a roar of applause.

Peyton Corley, 9, said the presentation was nerve-wracking, but worth it to encourage a good cause.

“My favorite part is I love helping the less fortunate,” Corley said.

The Gold Rush Interact Club found ways to re-purpose food that would otherwise be thrown away but is still good. The food items included unopened milk, fruit, chips, muffins and string cheese. The backpacks were sent to the Parker Task Force for distribution.

Kellen Brown, 10, of Gold Rush, said it felt good to pass along their success.

“I think it was pretty cool we were able to spread the word about it and have someone join us so we can help the Parker Task Force more,” Brown said.

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