CARTHAGE, Ill. (WGEM) -- Food pantries all across the Tri-States are in need of donations now more than ever before. And one local school did its part to help those in need and their efforts have paid off.
Cheers and applause filled the gym at Carthage Primary School when students found out they collected the most food items per student for this year's Fall Harvest School Challenge.
Erin Biery is a third grade teacher who helped organize the collection. She says, "It was really heartwarming to see the donations these kids and their families brought in."
It's the first year Carthage Primary collected items for the cause. The 265 Pre-K through fourth graders on average, collected eight items per student. To keep track of their progress, teachers created a wall of soup cans to motivate the students to give.
Diane Pepple is the principal at Carthage Primary. She says, "In fairness to my kids and their parents, they really had no idea I was going to give any type of reward so they truly were doing it for all the right reasons."
Teachers say the students learned an important lesson about the power of giving back to their community.
Biery adds, "We talked about one day how I rewarded them with brownies and I said I'm proud of you but is that really why we collected food, for brownies? And they said no it's because other people can't afford the food they need and that's why we brought the food."
For their efforts, Carthage Primary won a new iPad and one lucky student, first grader Katie Biery, won her own iPad as well after her name was drawn from the school's top donors.
Principal Pepple says the new technology will definitely be put to good use.
"We have a new math core standards course that has a lot of technology links and especially for the iPad. So there are apps that go right along with our math curriculum."
And thank you to our WGEM Fall Harvest School Challenge Sponsors, Air Specialists and Computing Made Easy, for the iPads and $100 gift cards.
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