Butler Catholic students have fun with cereal before donating it to food bank
Students at Butler Catholic School definitely did not flake on an assignment to collect boxes of cereal for those in need.
The entire school population of students in preschool through grade eight bowled over their student council advisers by bringing 576 boxes of the crunchy breakfast food to school over the last week.
The students milked the donation for all it was worth Monday morning, when the boxes were arranged upright by student council members and sixth-graders into a pattern on the gymnasium floor like dominoes.
Teachers and student council advisers Carol Dorcy and Kristen Singleton told the student population seated in the bleachers to choose heads or tails for a coin flip to see who would knock over the first box to “kick off” Catholic Schools Week.
Through a process of elimination and repeated coin flips, fifth-grader Atticus English won the final toss and kicked over the first box with gusto.
The boxes tipped over onto each other almost perfectly as the students cheered “Go! Go! Go!” on the domino effect. The excitement was edible — err, audible.
But the fun of tipping Cap’n Crunch and the Lucky Charms leprechaun was not the main focus of the day, amusing as it was.
“It was a really cool way to donate to St. Vincent de Paul and give people cereal,” Atticus said after he put the boots to a box of Bran Flakes. “People in need deserve everything we do. They deserve everything they need.”
Atticus said he did not look at the four other students who chose heads before choosing tails for the final coin flip.
“I just went tails all the way,” he said.
Fifth-grader Kaelyn Gapinski brought in many boxes of cereal during the last week.
“I think it’s a fun activity throughout the school,” Kaelyn said. “Everyone helps to donate to St. Vincent de Paul.”
She appreciated the fundraiser being held at her school and understands the importance of giving.
“All of us here at Butler Catholic are fortunate enough to have a bunch of food, and it’s a good way to help out our community,” Kaelyn said.
Abigail McGrath, also a fifth-grader, saw the cereal collection as a collaboration as well as a charitable event.
“I think it’s very nice, because we are helping out people less fortunate than us, and it’s very good that we’re working together,” she said.
Abigail and her little sister, Lydia, who is in first grade, brought in seven boxes of cereal.
The sisters reminded their mother of the school project each time she went to the grocery store.
“I was like ‘We gotta get extra boxes of cereal!’” Abigail said.
After all the Cheerios, Frosted Flakes and Trix had toppled over, students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades carried multiple boxes of cereal to the St. Vincent de Paul box truck parked outside the gym.
Two volunteers from the organization placed armloads of cereal into three huge boxes in the truck.
The boxes were quickly filled, and the cereal was stacked on the truck floor for transport across the street to the food bank.
“The kids learned to give and that there’s life outside of Butler Catholic, and that people have greater needs than they have,” a proud Singleton said of the event.
The home room of fifth-grade teacher Jennifer Friel brought in the most boxes, which earned them a doughnut party.
“We have a great family support system at Butler Catholic, and the kids get really excited,” Friel said of the event. “And they’re a little bit competitive.”
She said her homeroom students kept count of the boxes and encouraged one another to bring in more cereal.
Lisa Slupe, director of services at St. Vincent de Paul, said the food bank gets important items for the boxes of food they give out, and students of all ages get an important lesson.
“It’s awesome, because they learn to give,” Slupe said.
She said the food bank distributed 292 boxes of food in January, so the cereal will help greatly.
Slupe considers cereal a food children can make for themselves for breakfast or after school to hold them over for dinner if their parents are working.
“We thank Butler Catholic School,” she said. “It helps more than they will ever know.”
Monday was the fourth annual cereal collection at the school. The goal for next year is 600 boxes.