Coweta County schools participated in raising donations for the annual Coweta County Can-A-Thon, organized each year by the Newnan Junior Service League.
While the final total for the drive is still being tallied, students and teachers brought in approximately 150,000 food items in the form of cans, boxes or cash donations. All donations go to the Coweta County Food Pantry.
East Coweta High School’s Student Government led the largest individual school drive, with 17,000 food items (or cash equivalents) raised. Other top schools included Madras Middle School (15,579), Lee Middle School (14,908), Newnan High School (14,774), Canongate Elementary School (10,763) and White Oak Elementary School (10,286).
East Coweta students “put a lot of work into this food drive,” said ECHS teacher and SGA Sponsor Natalie Chastine. “Students went in groups door to door in their neighborhoods to collect donations, had a 3rd block class competition to see who raised the most donations, and sold tickets to a Faculty versus Student basketball game.” Their counterparts at Newnan High gave them strong competition with a “CANstruction” event and in-school drives.
Schools tried a number of ways to encourage donations as they held drives up to the Thanksgiving break. “At Canongate, we had a pie-a-thon contest whereby kids voted for a teacher in each grade level to get a pie-in-the face,” said Principal Betty Robinson. For every 1,000 cans collected, Robinson herself pledged to take a pie.
Willis Road Elementary School raised 7,432 items for the food pantry. “That’s triple what we normally do,” said Principal Charles Smith. The school held themed days to cheer on students, including a Be a “Souper” Hero day (soliciting cans of soup), Tacky Tuesday and Pajama Day.’ The student’s donations ‘will help many families in need,” said Principal Charles Smith.
Eastside Elementary School’s Jr. Beta club sponsored their drive and kept a bar graph posted in the lunchroom each day, showing totals each homeroom had collected ( Donna Roycroft’s Kindergarten class was highest, with 443 cans). Newnan Crossing Elementary School’s Student Council collected, counted and boxed items for their Can-A-Thon, and encouraged classroom competitions.
Welch Elementary School’s upper and the lower grades competed to outraise each other. The 3rd-5th graders won, “but only by 21 cans!” said principal Janice Smith. “I am so very proud of our Bulldogs helping others in need.”
Coweta County School System schools have traditionally supported the Junior Service League’s annual food drive, and have raised over 100,000 in items or cash donations for several years.