GIVE CHALLENGER MIDDLE SCHOOL A CHALLENGE … AND JUST WATCH THEM RUN WITH IT!

GIVE CHALLENGER MIDDLE SCHOOL A CHALLENGE … AND JUST WATCH THEM RUN WITH IT!

When Challenger Middle School in Glendale collected the lion’s share of more than 11,000 non-perishable food items during a Glendale Elementary School District school drive for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance last fall, it was pretty impressive.

But this year, with the school acting totally on its own and Mrs. Ashleigh King’s sixth grade special education class leading the way,  the Bulldogs banded together for one of the most incredible efforts the Food Bank has ever seen. In just over two weeks, the school made this drive their mission and collected … are you ready? … more than 15,600 food items!

In the last three years, Challenger Middle School has collected nearly 30,000 food items for St. Mary’s. Outstanding!

Challenger is a Title 1 School with many low-income or at-risk kids among their student body. Most of the students qualify for the federal school breakfast and lunch programs, and their families may come to St. Mary’s Food Bank themselves for food assistance. The faculty and administration, with Mrs. Clark’s leadership, the parents and these inspired young students understand the issue of hunger and wanted to help St. Mary’s make sure everyone had enough food for the holidays and beyond.

Challenger capped off their drive with a one-mile “Fun Run” on Thursday at the school – even the nasty weather couldn’t stop them, they took the running course inside – with students making one final donation for the right to take part. Mrs. Clark’s room was “overrun” with donations – in a drive that would have ranked among the best in Arizona’s just-completed National High School Student Food Drive.

To Mrs. Clark, her inspired class, and all the students, faculty, administration and parents of Challenger Middle School, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance thanks you on behalf of the hungry of Arizona. Enjoy your Christmas Break – you’ve earned the rest. Bulldogs … You rock!

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