As you walk through the halls of Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, you are likely to see many moments of kindness. Someone holding a door, picking up a dropped notebook for a fellow student, or simply giving a smile to someone who could use a boost. During this Thanksgiving season, students, staff and administrators of the district are expressing their gratitude for #theGJPSWay. One school in particular, Middle School South, is really getting into the spirit of giving with help from the Character Counts Club.
Students involved in the club are dedicated to improving morale by participating in projects to help their school and community. For the Thanksgiving season, Character Counts led the “Give to GRIN” (Gahanna Residents in Need) and “Pledge to Be Kind” campaigns.
The “Give to GRIN” campaign ran from October 16 to November 12, encouraging students and staff to participate in spirit days like wearing pajamas to school and dressing up for Halloween. To partake in spirit days, students and staff donated to a GRIN basket in each of their homerooms. GRIN provided the middle school with baskets and lists of food items that families would need to prepare a Thanksgiving meal. The students were tasked with filling the basket with food items and even gift cards for families to purchase perishable items.
In return, students and staff enjoyed dressing up, particularly on Halloween, when seventh grade staff dressed as Harry Potter characters and eighth grade staff dressed as the Spice Girls. But more importantly, students appreciated the opportunity to make a difference.
“I enjoy helping with Give to GRIN because it helps people who can’t otherwise get food,” said eighth grader Taibou Conde. “We help them get the resources they need to celebrate the holidays with their families. It’s also fun to see everyone get excited about giving by dressing up for spirit days.”