Funds from calendar sales will benefit four local charities
By Ethan Colbert
One evening last year, Bowling Green Elementary student MaKenna Moss was watching the evening news with her grandmother. One of the stories of that particular newscast was of a house fire, which had left a family homeless and had also claimed the lives of the family’s pets.
Thinking of her own pets, including her beloved cat, Gracie, MaKenna sought out a way that she could help similar families in need.
“Well, I really wanted to help people out,” MaKenna said in a recent interview with the Bowling Green Times. “My first idea was to organize a schoolwide art show for the kids at school. Then, I talked it over with some of my teachers and they encouraged me to think about doing a calendar instead.”
MaKenna said she first thought of the art show because it combined her desire to help others with her own love of colors and art.
One of the teachers that MaKenna visited with was Jen Dyer, a Title I instructor at Bowling Green Elementary. Dyer would later serve as the faculty sponsor for this ‘Leader in Me’ sanctioned project.
The Leader in Me program encourages the seven habits of healthy kids. The seven habits are: be proactive; begin with the end in mind; put first things first; think win-win; seek first to understand, then to be understood; synergize with others; and sharpen the saw by finding meaningful ways to help others.
Together, MaKenna and Dyer devised a calendar that could be sold for $10 and with proceeds going to benefit four local charities of MaKenna’s choice. She chose: the Hope Center, a food pantry in Bowling Green; a pair of regional homeless shelters; the crisis nursery in Pike County, which helps supplies diapers and formula to women with small children; and the local animal shelter.
According to Dyer, MaKenna’s project fit perfectly within the vision of the ‘Leader in Me’ program.
“The whole vibe of the ‘Leader In Me’ program is taking a look outside of yourself and realizing how you as an individual can impact the world,” Dyer said. “It asks kids to realize how they can change the world for the betterment of others. That is the whole message of ‘Leader in Me,’ discover what kind of leader you are.”
MaKenna said that once she decided to work on the calendar she and Dyer wrote a note to students telling them about the calendar and its theme, “Superheroes in Action.”
Once students submitted their drawings to MaKenna and Dyer for review, the pair noticed a distinct trend.
Rather than having an overwhelming number of Superman, Wonder Woman, or other well known superheroes, the students at Bowling Green Elementary had depicted scenes of superheroes accomplishing tasks, both large and small.
In one picture, the superhero is holding and sharing an umbrella for someone who was caught in a rainstorm without one. In another picture, a superhero is helping to pick-up trash from a park.
“I liked seeing the superheroes doing something positive,” MaKenna said. “I liked how sometimes the students drew their parents doing something. To me, that says that they think that their parents are their superheroes and I think that is pretty neat.”
Dyer said she thinks what MaKenna has helped her fellow students accomplish is also “pretty neat.”
Partnering with Jim Chick, of Chick Printing Services in Bowling Green, MaKenna and Dyer ordered 100 calendars.
“I was hopeful that we would sell out,” Dyer said. “I knew that our kids and the community would support this, because our parents in this community support the school and its students so much.”
Even still, Dyer said she was pleasantly surprised when they sold out of the calendars before Christmas.
After ordering an additional 30 calendars, the school has about 15 calendars still available for purchase. Calendars can be purchased by calling 324-2042.
The faculty sponsor said she was even more impressed by the generosity of the community to have raised more than $700 for the charities.
Dyer said she and MaKenna plan to make check presentations to the local charities later this month.
In her interview Makenna said she was hopeful that this would not be the only issue of a charity calendar published by a Bowling Green Elementary student.
“I really hope that more people catch on to the idea about doing something good to help other people and to help make the world a better place,” MaKenna said. “I hope that everyone in this school is able to come up with an idea of something that they can do.”