Church Hill middle students contribute to food pantry, classmates

Jeff Bobo • Nov 18, 2017 at 9:00 AM


CHURCH HILL — Music teacher Ashley Guice has been in a fowl mood all week thanks to her students at Church Hill Middle School who met a challenge by raising nearly $250 to benefit underprivileged classmates this Thanksgiving.

Guice will use the funds to purchase gift cards which will be distributed to the families of CHMS students who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Her students were motivated to raise the funds by a bet. If they succeeded, Guice would be required to wear an unflattering turkey hat on her head for the entire week.

"We asked the kids to donate money to the teacher they think has the least amount of personal sense of decorum, and they gave me $248.52 to buy food cards for the kids in our school who don't have Thanksgiving dinner," Guice said. "That's why I'm wearing this. They paid $250 for me to look like this. It makes you want to scratch your head with a weedeater. It's a little itchy, but you do what you've got to do."

In a separate food drive a group of CHMS 8th-graders moved up on Guice’s “pecking order” Thursday morning as they contribution 1,532 food items to benefit the needy.

All eight 8th-grade classes conducted a food drive this month to benefit the Of One Accord ministry's Emergency Food Pantry in Church Hill. The food pantry donation was made in honor of Steve Starnes as part of Director of Schools appreciation week.

"He works real hard for us and we decided to do this in his honor just to kind of give praise to him," said CHMS 8th-grader James Davis.

The eight 8th-grade homerooms were divided into two teams. The winning "Blue Team" was the homerooms of Shanna Smith, Randy McGhee, Charles Shaver and Autumn Spencer.

The "Gold Team" was comprised of the homerooms of Daris Green, Patty Johnston, Jason Joyner and Joshua Bearden.

"We blew them out of the water, the Blue Team did," Davis said.

Of the 1,532 food items donated, Shanna Smith's class brought in 1,032.

"She brought in 1,000 cans herself," Guice said. "She's a great coach. She's a great teacher, and she has competitive spirit in the right way. In the spirit it's intended, to help the kids cheer each other on for a good cause.

The winning team was rewarded with a biscuit breakfast that was donated by the Mount Carmel Hardee's.