Kahla MS students, staff conduct ‘Bears for the Blue’ service drive
Kahla Middle School staff, students and Adan Banda, CFISD police officer, pose with hundreds of stuffed animals that were collected as part of a campuswide service project called “Bears for the Blue.” Students and staff collected the new and gently used stuffed animals in honor of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Jan. 9 and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 17.
Jan. 14, 2022—Kahla Middle School students and staff members came together for an act of kindness while showing their appreciation for law enforcement this month with “Bears for the Blue,” a campuswide collection drive of new and gently used stuffed animals to donate to the CFISD police department and other local departments.
In total, 160 stuffed animals were collected. They will eventually be donated to deserving children or others in need.
The project began as a conversation between Kelsey Jackson, Kahla in-class paraprofessional, and campus secretary Dolores Frayler. Looking for a themed event for January, the two planned a service project in honor of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Jan. 9 and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 17. They presented the idea to students, who jumped on board with the opportunity to help others.
“They loved it,” Jackson said. “This year, we’ve focused a lot on student and staff buy-in. And this is something we can do for the community.”
The drive began Jan. 5 with collection boxes set up at the front of the school and attendance office. It ran for seven days and was fueled by a friendly competition between students and staff. CFISD police officers picked up the donated stuffed animals Jan. 13.
In addition to the project itself, Jackson said the collection drive was also a way for students to learn about giving without expecting something in return.
“This was a service project giving back to the community,” she said. “I spoke with a few kids who are economically disadvantaged and hearing them talk about giving up their stuffed animals to someone else that may be in need is huge. They are getting something in return, but it’s not tangible. It’s doing a good act of service.”