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A driving force for service to others

The AAPTO clothing drive to benefit Molholm Elementary in Lakewood was a huge success, thanks to many dedicated volunteers and generous donating families.

Information and photo courtesy of American Academy

Though the last of the fall leaves still cling to our trees in Castle Pines, the American Academy PTO (AAPTO) and the school’s families are already working to prepare those in need for the colder months so that more people are warm and more tummies are full.

As they have every year of the past eight years, the AAPTO supervises and coordinates both a winter clothing drive and a food drive for Molholm Elementary, a Lakewood public school which serves around 500 students from preschool through sixth grade, and where ninety-five percent of the student population participates in the free and reduced lunch program.

The AAPTO clothing drive, which took place during the last week in September, concentrated on collecting outerwear for the winter months this year. In total, the AA community donated 135 coats, 65 sweatshirts, 55 hats, 13 pairs of boots, 30 pairs of gloves and 17 scarves. Most recently, the October AAPTO food drive stocked the Molholm food bank for fall and winter.

In order to collect all of these items during each drive, AAPTO volunteers, along with students, teachers, parents and staff stood outside during morning carpool each day for a week and took items from cars as they drove by in the carpool lane. “It’s a nice sort of assembly line collection opportunity that makes it easy for people to bring more things by,” says AAPTO volunteer in charge of service, Nancy Tepsic, “and the response is always very generous!”

According to Tepsic, these programs help round out a year of fundraising for the school itself by turning the focus outside of the usual push for financial school support. “We find new and more effective ways to raise money for our school and our kids. But doing work to help someone else is also an important part of growing up in any community. It feels great to take some of the wonderful energy and generosity of our American Academy parent community and use it sometimes for something bigger than ourselves, bigger than our own kids’ needs, bigger than our school.”

“We appreciate the wonderful things American Academy has done for our school,” said Dolores Barela, parent liaison for Molholm Elementary.  “Without the generosity of American Academy, many of our students and their families would not have warm coats, much less gloves, hats or boots this winter. In addition, our families are so grateful to be able to come in and get food from our food bank that AA so kindly filled.”

For more information about AA, please visit or contact the school at 720-292-5200.



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