Assistant principal goes to great heights for canned food drive
MATTAPOISETT — Throughout the school year, the health offices at Center School and Old Hammondtown School urged students to “help can hunger.” And by May, the students from preschool to sixth grade had collected 1,700 non-perishable food items to donate to a local food pantry.
In May, Assistant Principal Kevin Tavares upped the ante with a challenge of his own.
Tavares took the winnings from his staff’s healthy eating challenge and bought 480 items to donate to the food pantry. Then, he gave the kids a dare they couldn’t quite pass up.
“I told them if they could bring in one more can than I did, I would spend the night on the roof of Center School,” explained Tavares.
Called “Mr. T’s Challenge,” students had from June 1 to 17 to bring in food items. They matched Tavares’ donation and then almost doubled it. On Monday, June 15, the students had donated almost 800 cans.
“I’d say it was successful,” Tavares said.
On July 18 he plans to get on Center School’s roof and stay there until the following morning. Tavares said he hopes friends, family and parents will continue to donate cans while he settles in on the eaves.
Beth Oleson, a member of the schools’ health office, said the year-long can drive has been a positive one for students.
“The kids have really learned and been engaged in this community project – from bringing in to collecting, to sorting and checking expiration dates. There’s been school-wide support,” she said.
For his part, Tavares is glad to see the students rise to his challenge, and he doesn’t mind spending a night on the roof for a good cause … though if anyone has a small tent he could use, give him a call.
“It’ll be fun,” he said. And he hopes to get a few hours of sleep so he can be chipper for the sixth grade graduation the following morning.
“I’ll need to be fresh as a daisy.”