Perry Middle School students and staff have raised more than $5,000 to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and collected nearly 1,200 empty aluminum cans in the month of September to raise money for the American Heart Association.
But that’s not all. Throughout the year, Perry students and staff are making a difference in their community by raising money for charitable donations, collecting cans and clothing donations, and recycling.
The middle school’s Green Team, a student organization aimed at working together to make their school and local community more sustainable, has led the can collection with 100% of the proceeds going to the American Heart Association. So far this year through the can collection, students and staff have raised nearly $100. In the past three years, they have raised more than $1,200.
“I like to collect cans because I like to donate and save lives,” seventh-grader Roberto P. said.
The Green Team sponsor, eighth grade history teacher Christina Carr, partnered with sixth-eighth grade teacher Fatima Mohammad to make the can collection a campus-wide effort.
“Fatima started the push for can collection three years ago on a staff level where cans were then donated to raise money for her students to participate in our annual Hoops for Heart event,” she said. “With COVID and the cancellation of the Hoops for Heart event, the focus shifted. This year, I became the Green Team sponsor and partnered with her.”
The fundraising efforts have created a strong school community. Students and staff participate in grade-level competitions for the highest number of cans collected monthly.
“Overall, it’s been really fun to see grade levels bringing big bags of empty cans from home to dump into their bins to try to win,” Carr said. “Every can counts. We believe it's so important in giving back for such a great cause that saves lives and teaching our students how to be proactive now and in the future for similar efforts.”
Students are enjoying the competitive spirit of the can collection drive.
“It’s fun to see that the money from the cans is going to a good cause,” eighth-grader Lauren S. said. “It’s also fun to find out who wins for the month.”
In addition to can and clothing donations, the Green Team also collects paper recycling weekly and works closely with a variety of different student groups to create inclusion and community on the campus.
“Green Team helps encourage students and staff to recycle,” Carr said. “It also helps them to understand the importance of creating a cleaner planet for future generations.”
Cans aren’t the only thing being collected at Perry. A clothing donation box was recently acquired by Mohammad, allowing the community to drop off gently used clothing, shoes, toys, bedding, and other household textiles in the parking lot just outside the portable buildings located behind the CFBISD Central Administration building.
“The donated items are kept out of landfills and managed by Recycling for Hope,” Carr said. “In return, Recycling for Hope donates money to our PTA which is used to provide items for all students, specifically in fine arts and athletics. PTA is also using this money to help with teacher grants and senior scholarships.”
Perry MS students and staff plan to keep giving back throughout the school year.
“Our students are finding ways to give back even in the middle of such a crazy year with COVID and the school’s renovation,” said Jamie Macedo, Business Information Management teacher.