RAPID RIVER - Students at Rapid River have another reason to thank their school's teachers and staff following a plethora of items being donated to the school by staff members and volunteers during a donation night held recently.
Staff members donned purple and gold for the event which took place in the school cafeteria. Each participant enjoyed a pizza dinner and brought a donation, such as a game for elementary students to use during indoor recess, book for the library, playground or gym equipment, or school supplies.
"Anything you can think of to benefit students," said Flo Anderson, Michigan Education Association Board of Directors member, Rapid River district MEA president, and special education teacher.
More than 100 items were donated to the school during the event. Most of the donations were suggested items like school supplies and books, but some staff members went above and beyond.
"One gentlemen brought in ... 65 library books," said Anderson.
Other staff members took the opportunity to get creative with their donations and brought in items that students might need outside the classroom.
"Someone brought in some Rapid River t-shirts. We have a little area where students can go if they need clothes so they brought in shirts for that," said Anderson.
The donation night was the result of the Michigan Education Association Knowledge Has Value Future Search Committee charging local MEA districts with organizing a community outreach project for the 2013-14 school year.
"We asked all presidents of all districts on the Northern Zone to do something," said Anderson.
In Rapid River the decision was made to keep the outreach project close to home and have staff members donate things to the school that could be used by students in the district. All of the districts staff was encouraged to participate.
"It's all staff, whether or not you're a volunteer here at Rapid River Schools, support staff, coaches, office administration, teachers - anybody who's involved in the school," said Anderson.
Around 60 staff and volunteers that work in the school or with students attended the event.
"Almost our whole teaching staff was there. We were only missing one teacher," said Anderson, noting that other groups that worked with the school were also represented at the event.
"We had a very nice mixture of people who were there," she said.
In addition to familiar faces, a few unexpected guests dropped by for donation night as well.
"We had the top three executive officers from the MEA there...," said Anderson.
MEA President Steve Cook, Vice President Nancy Strachan, and Secretary/Treasurer Richard Trainor came by, toured the facility, and met teachers and staff.
"It was very nice to have that showing from Lansing," said Anderson.
The event was well received by staff, and Anderson believes the district will have another donation night at some point - probably at a different time of year when temperatures are warmer.
"This was the first time doing this ... if we do it again I think our showing will only grow," she said.