Josie Sanford waits as Spring Valley Food Shelf volunteer Carol Gross weighs the food. Sanford is in Claudia Koerner's second grade class, which helped deliver food collected at the school into the house in which the food shelf is located.
Josie Sanford waits as Spring Valley Food Shelf volunteer Carol Gross weighs the food. Sanford is in Claudia Koerner's second grade class, which helped deliver food collected at the school into the house in which the food shelf is located.
Principal Chris Priebe will have a new office thanks to the efforts of his students at Kingsland Elementary School.

The catch is that the office will be located on the 50-yard line of the football field for one day and, at the end of the day, students will be able to throw water balloons at him.

The arrangement is part of an incentive for the 2013 Kingsland Elementary School food drive that ran Monday through Friday last week. The students collected 568 items, or 433 lbs. of food, more than enough to meet all the incentives set up beforehand.

School-wide prizes include earning an hour extra recess time on a nice spring day if the students collected 200 items, earning a "choice day" during which they may bring a stuffed animal to school, wear their pajamas or a hat to school if they collected 250 items and the new office for Priebe if they collected 300 items. Since they surpassed all three goals, the students earned all three prizes.

This year the theme of the drive was "Use Your Noodle," said Kingsland School Parents member Sarah Reiland as this year the emphasis was on collecting noodles, such as macaroni and cheese, Hamburger Helper, and pastas. Last year, the focus was on cereal.

Reiland explained that KSP holds the food drive in cooperation with KES staff and students for three main reasons - "to promote a sense of community among students, hoping that this will help students recognize that as members of a community, we are responsible for helping others, because nutrition is important for many things, including school achievement...if we can help students obtain healthy meals, there is the potential that school achievement will improve as well, and because it's an opportunity for students to have some fun in a friendly competition."

There were several other food drive activities in progress at KES last week. For example, students were asked to complete a word-find puzzle, and for those students that turn the word-find in, there was a drawing for a Knights T-shirt.

There was also competition between classrooms. The classroom that collected the most food items - Claudia Koerner's second grade classroom that collected 90 items - got to deliver the food to the Spring Valley Food Shelf.

"Mr. Priebe had the idea to let the winning classroom help with the delivery on Friday, March 22," said Reiland. "This allows students the opportunity to see what the food shelf is and to know that there is a place in our community for people to get food when they need it. This classroom will also be awarded with a 'traveling trophy.'"

Reiland thinks the food drive is exciting for students, staff and KSP members, not only because of the prizes, but also because it is fun to see the kids working together to get the food delivered.

"A project like this shows that the school is part of a larger community and that the students need to participate in this larger community. Education involves a 'school without walls,' and this is a prime example of that," she said. "It's been a fun cooperative project between KSP and the elementary. The school administration and staff welcomed this project with open arms, and we're hoping that students and their families support it as well."