Sierra students skip lunch to benefit charity - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Sierra students skip lunch to benefit charity

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Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 8:00 am

Recess is usually a time for kids to spend outside playing or hanging out with friends.

But some kids at Kyrene de la Sierra Elementary choose to spend it inside crafting items to benefit local charities or service men and women stationed abroad.

We Power, a program created by Sierra kindergarten teacher Michelle Willis, meets every Tuesday and Thursday during lunch recess. About 12 to 15 kids participate each day and on Tuesday, Feb. 1, they put together fleece dog toys to be donated to local animal shelters.

"We get kids of all ages who want to give up their lunch to come help out," Willis said. "It's a great program for a lot of reasons. It provides them with the opportunity to be a leader."

The group chooses a different charity or organization each month to benefit. On Tuesday the kids painted puzzle pieces for picture frames, which will be used to thank their "Hometown Heroes."

"I like to paint and sometimes recess can be boring," student Brooke Kirkpatrick said.

On Feb. 25, Sierra will host the "Hometown Heroes" - local men and women who will read to every classroom.

"We are doing this to honor people who aren't necessarily in the spotlight," Willis said.

We Power is organized by Willis and a group of volunteers.

"Sometimes you see a different side of your child when they realize the good they are doing," said Beth Hare, volunteer and mother of two. "It's great to see them excited about the projects, and they are always wondering where we are going to be helping next."

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