COLONIE — What do you do with nearly 1,200 boxes of cereal? You line them up like dominos and then, of course, knock ‘em over.
First, the boxes did not randomly end up at the Lisha Kill Middle School. The students and staff collected them as part of a competition with South Colonie School District’s other middle school, Sand Creek. Lisha Kill students nosed out Sand Creek students by about 100 boxes and now all the more than 2,200 boxes of cereal will go to the Northeast Regional Food Bank to help feed people in need across 23 counties.
It was a lesson in civics, and the importance of helping the less fortunate, but nobody said that can’t be fun, too. On Friday, June 12, the entire student body meticulously lined up the boxes along the sidewalk outside the school and then cheered as they were knocked over.
“We thought it would be a fun activity for the kids,” said Lisha Kill Principal David Wetzel. “They have had a tough year with the pandemic. School has not been the same, students had to wear masks and they have had smaller class sizes, so this is a great way to have some fun at the end of the year.”
While the student body laughed and cheered and otherwise blew off some steam, the underlying lesson was not lost.
“Throughout the year we do a lot of community service projects and this is one of the bigger ones, and students do know why they are doing it,” Wetzel said. “It is more than fun and collecting boxes for a dominoes game. They understand what they did and what they are doing is to help people.”
The Regional Food Bank has been helping feed the hungry since 1982. It collects large donations of food and distributes some 55 million pounds to pantries and other charitable organizations across 23 counties, from Plattsburgh to Newburgh.
Kiyomi Giboyeaux, a six grader at Lisha Kill said it “was a fun day” and it was nice to be outside with all her friends without having to wear a mask.”
“It was really important so that people can have enough food,” she said of the activity’s main purpose.
Her classmate, Aliyah Pearson, said she liked watching the cereal boxes tumble but more importantly, she likes to “see people be happy” and likes to help those in need and is “glad they got all this food.”
“It was fun because we got to watch them all fall to the ground,” said sixth grader Adam Elkordy. “And a lot of people will get food now who need it.”
The weather didn’t really cooperate, and a slight breeze prematurely knocked some boxes over forcing the students to put them on their side rather than the bottom. It worked well, albeit a little too well, and an occasional “domino” did need some persuading to keep the chain going.
Next week, Sand Creek students will hold a similar event with the more than 1,000 boxes of cereal collected for the food bank.
Click on a photo below to here to view a slideshow of the rest.