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Sandy Journal

Daybreak student leaders extend helping hand to community

Jan 22, 2019 04:42PM ● By Julie Slama

Daybreak student council students sort donations from their food drive. (Photo courtesy of Daybreak Elementary).

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Imagine collecting 358 pounds of candy, 700 items of food, 200 stuffed animals and helping coordinate green and red ribbon weeks. 

And Daybreak’s student council isn’t done. The 23 sixth-graders also will lead the school through Kids Heart Challenge, White Ribbon Week and a book drive.

“We want our students to learn and show kindness,” said teacher Tawna Pippin, one of the student council advisers. “We want them to reach out to soldiers, seniors, and even their own peers to say hello and show they care. There are activities that we can help support every day.”

Pippen said Daybreak’s student council stands on three pillars — education, community and service — and their activities are centered around them.

This school year’s efforts came after they collected 200 stuffed animals donated to Project Teddy Bear which will be given to centers who provide prevention and treatment of child abuse through education, therapy and outreach, and participated in Souper Bowl of Caring to fight hunger and poverty and to benefit Jordan Education Foundation principal pantries.

“We want them to focus on service for that’s when they find joy, when they look outside themselves,” Pippin said.

This year, they collected candy after Halloween for deployed soldiers.

“The kids were bringing in candy by the bags. We had a carload. It was quite the treat for those who serve,” she said.

They also collected about 700 food items through a food drive to benefit Jordan Education Foundation principal pantries through having students bring food items before the Utah-Brigham Young football games and place them in piles for the team they wanted to win.

“It was a fun announcement each morning with totals of food donated in honor of each school in anticipation of the big game,” she said about the competition that the pile grew daily in the front foyer of the school.

Daybreak Student Council also helped with green ribbon week for pedestrian safety and red ribbon week for drug and alcohol prevention education week.

“The students helped to coordinate different activities for different contests,” Pippen said. “There were pledges, such as say, ‘Boo to Drugs’ or a poster contest where they asked our crossing guards to select the winners, who received bike helmets. The students told jokes with the morning announcements and made the weeks fun.” 

Student council also supported the school’s kindness week by sitting with people they didn’t know and talking to kids who weren’t in groups of friends.

“We wanted our kids to express kindness to their peers as well as to those in the community and by giving of themselves, they can help everyone,” Pippen said.

This year, sixth-graders took that kindness campaign to Sagewood at Daybreak senior living community and have weekly talked to seniors and done activities with them. 

“They are great service-doers setting up every single chair available for the Halloween Parade and helping put them away after, sorting fundraising cookie dough and other tasks as they come up,” she said.

The year isn’t done. The student leaders are coordinating Kids Heart Challenge fundraiser for the American Heart Association, white ribbon week in internet education and a book drive for The Christmas Box House.

“We are always looking for opportunities,” Pippen said. “There’s always service we can do.”