• 39°

Just because they care

Students stay after school for civic club

Most students can’t wait until that final bell that marks the end of a school day.

Some, however, find that they can’t wait until that final bell because it marks the beginning of an extra curricular club that lets students show how much they care.

Thursdays mean Kids Care Club time for Ironton Middle School students; a club that is all about the needs of other people. This week, the students were busy filling and decorating Halloween treat bags to be delivered to children in four local hospitals.

Christie McMaster, adviser for the club, said the nearly eight-year-old program sees about 80 student members per year, all donating their time for after school meetings. Thursday’s meeting saw about 40 students stay after school.

Sixth grader Lexi Wise delegates tasks to other students in the Kids Care Club at Ironton Middle School.

“To have 40 students willing to stay after school is really neat to me,” said McMaster.

McMaster said she hopes the students will benefit from the feeling of helping those in need.

“I want them to realize how many opportunities there are to help people in the community,” she said.

The Halloween treat bags project is one of the first major projects of the year for the club. Students stayed after school to color the bags and fill them with coloring books, pencils and erasers and candy.

McMaster said students would deliver the bags Monday to King’s Daughters Medical Center, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Seventh grader Lydia Reidling decorated treat bags for the project.

“I like helping people,” she said. “And it makes me feel better when I do.”

Sierra Vallance, a sixth grader in the club, sorted various items to be put into the treat bags. She joined for a very simple reason.

“It’s helping people,” she said, “and I like helping people.”

Halloween treat bags are just the tip of the iceberg for the Kids Care Club. For fire safety week, the club worked with kindergarten through fifth grade classes and did art projects and talked to the students about fire safety.

Farther into the year, they will have a food drive for the various food pantries in the area and a pancake breakfast to raise money for their winter mitten tree that provides warm clothing for local shelters. The club will also visit local nursing homes at Thanksgiving and Christmas and make more treat bags and spend time with the residents.

Last year the club started Tiger Treats, which sent 13 care packages to troops overseas.

“It’s been a blast,” McMaster said. “They are really enjoying it.”