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Rebels with a cause…

Pictured right: Students created posters to promote the Rebel Service Club backpack drive


By Julie Matuszewski; photo courtesy of American Academy

The American Academy (AA) Rebel Service Club (RSC) has a simple mission, but one that carries a lot of weight. Their mission is to be educated on the value of serving others while providing opportunities to do so. The club believes by creating service learning experiences, they are helping to not only build strong foundations of humility and generosity but also see how their personal character grows over the course of the year.

RSC is a community service club designed for students age 6 to 13. During the last year, RSC members have learned about service and its values, and they have already made an impact on the Foothills Animal Shelter located in Golden. The RSC collected more than 600 towels and blankets for the shelter. This spring, RSC students will collect backpacks and school supplies for low income families in AA and the Douglas County School District. This drive specifically builds humility in the way that students tangibly see what other kids do not have by allowing them to physically place the collected items in the backpack. It is a humbling moment even for the youngest of kids.

Now through May 10, RSC has set a goal to collect a minimum of 250 backpacks, each filled with school essentials. These backpacks are intended for kids to get started on the right foot for the upcoming school year. RSC is currently accepting donations of new or like-new backpacks, as well as, No. 2 pencils, crayons (24 pack), markers (8 or 10 pack), colored pencils (12 pack), glue bottles, glue sticks, spiral bound notebooks (wide ruled), tissue boxes, kid scissors, folders of any color and pink erasers.

RSC kids have been hard at work designing and hanging posters around the school to encourage their peers to bring in donations throughout the drive. Thoughtful letters have been written to JanSport’s corporate office asking for backpack donations, and Tuesday and Thursday mornings students were outside during morning carpool with signs promoting the drive while welcoming peers to school.

On Monday, May 13, RSC students will fill the backpacks with the supplies collected during their final meeting of the year. Full backpacks will be delivered to school leadership teams during the last week of school. These teams will distribute the backpacks to those families in need.

AA is dedicated to its character development program, which focuses on 10 traits of human character including courage, humility, integrity, compassion, generosity, respect, responsibility, perseverance, self-control and citizenship. “We are so grateful for the opportunity to lead a group of kids who are genuinely concerned for the wellbeing of other kids. This drive is bigger than any project Rebel Service Club has ever done because the kids know that it will actually benefit their peers. I’m really proud of the hard work our students have put into this collection, and I can’t wait to see the final outcome,” said RSC instructor and coordinator Kirsten Gaskell.

If you would like to support the RSC and make a donation to their backpack drive, donations can be made Monday through Friday in the front office of American Academy, located at 6971 Mira Vista Lane in Castle Pines.

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