Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sundance Elementary: Early Act, Mentor Programs

So a while back I wrote a post regarding Box Tops, Campbell's Soup labels, and those little metal tabs from the tops of soda cans. One of the people I spoke with regarding these items was Mrs.Waters from Sundance Elementary.  The thing I thought was especially cool about the whole can tabs collecting was that it doesn't really do anything to benefit the schools who participate in it.  It is a perfect example of  how even though teachers are struggling to provide for their own classrooms, and even  though students are suffering because of lack of funding they still are willing to do things to benefit others. (The tab program benefits The Ronald McDonald House)

Mrs. Waters and Mr. Bowers

Mrs. Waters is also in charge of Early Act.  Early Act is a group of students, that is sponsored by the local Rotary Club. Early Act looks for various programs that they can provide service for or help donate too. The Early Act group at Sundance is made up of approximately thirty 4th and 5th grade students.  They help organize the Box Tops and Campbell's Soup labels brought in by their fellow students. They have raised money for Relay for Life,  hosted different dinners for the local rotary club,  helped with the local city wide clean up, and they hold car washes, as well as after school movies and school dances to help raise money for their programs.  In fact the year end goal for these students isn't a trip to a theme park, or a party.  They hold and serve a dinner for their parents. 

Inside a Power Box

Today they were helping out Side by Side Humanitarian . This is a local food bank that among other things helps "to resource and distribute food in the San Gorgonio Pass communities of Calimesa, Beaumont, Cherry Valley, Banning and Cabazon, California. Future plans include expansion into eastern Riverside and surrounding desert communities." It's founder, Kevin Bowers, came to the school with food and boxes and the kids eagerly helped make power boxes to give to local homeless.  Power Boxes are boxes that contain one meal for one person.  Within roughly over 30 mins they had made 100 boxes. The kids don't get any reward for this, no medals, no special prizes. Yet none of them complained and they were even looking forward to helping again.

 If you are a local group that would like to become involved with Sundance's Early Act feel free to email Mrs. Waters at
Not part of a local program or group but would like to be involved?  Sundance also has a Mentor program.  A Mentor adopts a class and once or twice a week goes in to help out.  For example they help read to students, or work one on one with the students. You don't need to have a child in the school to help out, but you do need to get fingerprinted.  Interested? Just go in to the school and speak with the secretary at the front desk.

Gosh, as I said before, isn't it amazing that with currant economic problems and everything else, the teachers at this school are still making the effort to instill a sense of compassion in their students.  Huh, really makes you think. I'm not saying all teachers are super heroes, or that all teachers go above and beyond, but in that same reasoning not all teachers are lazy and apathetic only working so they can have off for summer vacation.  That being said maybe you don't have time to spare helping out at the school itself, but how hard would it be to clip a box top or two and drop it off at your local school? Maybe a soup label? These programs help bring in funds that the schools can use to help continue such programs like Early Act. 

To find out more about Side by Side Humanitarian click here.

Act clubs sponsored by Rotary clubs aren't just limited to elementary age children if you are a teacher and interested in starting your own Act club click here for more info.

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