05/25/06 — Students help feed needy children

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Students help feed needy children

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 25, 2006 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- In a nationwide campaign to promote music education and help the hungry, Carver Elementary School raised more money per student than any other school in the country. With 100 percent student participation in the project, the school was chosen to distribute food and supplies to 400 families in the Mount Olive community.

As part of the campaign to focus attention on the importance of music education and to raise support for Feed the Children, schools across the country participated in the World's Largest Concert March 9.

Carver Elementary School and Feed the Children

News-Argus/Kaye Nesbit

Carver Elementary School in Mount Olive recently won the honor of distributing boxes of food and other supplies from the Feed the Children organization to 400 families. Johnson Lee Simpson with Helping Hands United Missions, at left, helps put boxes of food on a hand cart to be taken to waiting cars on Tuesday.

Feed the Children, the third largest international charity in the U.S., delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to families in need. Schools were encouraged to hold their own fundraisers for the cause. The one that raised the most money per student received a plaque and banner.

Carver was also chosen to host a food distribution at the school. Helping Hands Ministries, a partner agency with Feed the Children, selected the 400 recipients. On Tuesday, volunteers helped give away boxes of food, hygiene products and milk to the local families.

At Carver, students actively supported the project and donated generously from the start, officials said. One child washed his parents' car to earn money, while another brought in a heavy bag of coins that totaled $70 he had saved over the years.

LaVone Hicks, music teacher at the school, said her fifth-grade chorus sponsored a school telethon.

"(Kids) pre-taped their various talents, including singing, dancing, playing piano. The program ended with our entire chorus," she said.

From March 6-10, Ms. Hicks said she made a daily appeal over the school's television channel.

"I followed it with one of the performances. Students collected money daily from other students and staff. Parent volunteers counted the money," she said.

On the final day of the effort, she said teachers, parent volunteers and other students "chipped in money to make sure every student in the school had something to give."

A total of $1,413.52 was raised by the students and staff.

It was quite an accomplishment for the rural school where many students are from a "lower socioeconomic background," Ms. Hicks said.

Larry Jones, president and founder of Feed the Children, expressed gratitude for the National Association of Music Educators for partnering in the fund drive, and to the local school.

"Everyone at Carver Elementary deserves special thanks for going above and beyond to help needy families right in their own community," he said.