Amherst educators, students step up for the larger community
Every year, the students, faculty and staff at Amherst Middle School find ways to make a difference in our community. This year, their reach has expanded around the globe. Dec. 18, 2010, marked the end of the school's "Books for Kids from Kids" campaign that collected books for needy Afghan children who are learning English. Amherst Educator’s Association member Christine MacLeod, the school’s library media specialist, spearheaded this book drive, which raised more than 400 picture books.
Mrs. MacLeod learned about a NATO forces effort that was taking place to rebuild schools in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Marines working there discovered a need for books so that the Afghan children could learn to read English. Mrs. MacLeod leapt into action, putting up flyers, making announcements, and collecting and shipping the books.
The Amherst Middle School Service Club — led by Nathan Phillips, also an AEA member — has worked hard to motivate the entire student body to perform other unbridled acts of kindness. During the fall, they "Pinked the School" to raise $500.00 for breast cancer research. In addition, the middle school partnered with the Amherst High School for a 5K walk that raised an additional $1,700 for breast cancer. Another "Fun Run" hosted by the middle school raised $97.00 for the American Heart Association.
It seems that there is no end to the kindness displayed by the students and teachers. In January, another huge fundraiser, headed by Mr. Phillips, raised more than $3,000 for the Buffalo Women and Children's Hospital. The money was raised doing hat days, penny drives, dress-down day and bake sales.