The competitive drive of Brentwood Elementary students has a lot of sole.
Students at the Mead school this week donated more than 1,000 pairs of shoes to Rwanda’s poor. They already helped round up almost a ton of food during Christmas. The promise of free milkshakes - and smiling Rwandans - drove classes to gather more than 500 pairs of shoes on Friday alone.
“What can I say?” said Brentwood principal Dave Stenerson. “These kids can do anything.”
The shoes are heading to Rwanda via Fairchild Air Force Base and Spokane’s Brad Rothrock, a senior worker with Catholic Family Charities.
Brentwood began collecting shoes after seeing an NBC national news broadcast about Rothrock.
Tom Zdrojkowski, a social worker assigned to the school, convinced the altruistic Stenerson a shoe drive had merit.
Stenerson talked to the school’s student council, which agreed to back the drive and donate milkshake money.
Students pulled old Adidas sneakers, weathered hiking boots and sandals out of their closets and went door-to-door, asking neighbors.
“We didn’t have a garage sale last year,” said Ryanne Walker, a 10-year-old who donated 26 pairs.
There were limits, of course. “We couldn’t bring high-heeled shoes, because they probably wouldn’t help much in Rwanda,” said Suzanne Klaus, 11, the biggest benefactor in the school with 47 pairs donated.
The shoes were stacked taller than the students, a huge pile of lumpy black garbage bags. Pink cowboy boots tangled with penny loafers, the coin still tucked in the slot.
“I hope these help,” said Walker.
Robin Rothrock, Brad’s sister, said the response from Spokane’s school children has been surprising. At least two other schools on the South Hill and in the Spokane Valley are also collecting.
“We are all so connected all over the world,” said Rothrock. “(The kids) want to know what they can do to help … people clear across the world, suffering.”
Steve Miller’s sixth grade class enjoyed the reward for the most shoes collected.
Everyone loves a lover
Who do you love? Everyone, from the looks of Valentine’s Day activities at North Side schools.
Grandma, of course, is high on the list. Logan Elementary second-graders will be bringing valentines to residents of the Loganhurst Nursing Center.
Lidgerwood students are bringing someone they love to lunch Friday, be it parents, neighbors, relatives or friends. Lunch is chili, cinnamon rolls, carrot sticks, fruit and milk.
Linwood students and staff are giving valentines to workers at Costco, a business partner of the school.
And some North Central High students, like all singles on Friday, will be pondering how they suddenly got dead and cold.
They’ll be hosting an audience participation play, “The Garbanzo Larotyp, Inc., Valentine’s Day Office Party,” in which one of them is murdered, and the actors and audience members help unravel the mystery.
The play starts at 7:30 p.m. in the North Central auditorium. Call 353-5220 for information.
, DataTimes MEMO: Education Notebook is a regular feature of the North Side Voice. If you have news about an interesting program or activity at a North Side school or about the achievements of North Side students, teachers or school staff, please let us know. Deadline is Monday. Write: Jonathan Martin, Education Notebook, North Side Voice, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. E-mail: email@example.com. Call: 459-5484. Fax: 459-5482.
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