Rifle Middle PALS hold holiday food drive

Rifle Middle PALS hold holiday food drive
Rifle Middle PALS hold holiday food drive
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Filled with the generous spirit of the holiday season, Rifle Middle School is in the thick of its canned food drive. Thanks to every student who kindly donated, as well as the student group in charge of collection, a helping hand is extended to anyone in need.

When the food items are all collected at the end of next week, RMS will donate them to LIFT-UP (Life-Interfaith-Team-On-Unemployment-Poverty), a nonprofit organization that provides support to Garfield County residents in need. In years past, they’ve donated over 4,000 cans of food. 

“My goal is always to collect more than the previous year, which will be easy this year considering what was our COVID year last year,” says Dean Kelly D’Avella. “We really just want all the classes to participate. I mean, if we could get every student to bring in one or two cans, you know, that would be great.”

The group in charge of coordinating the food drive is PALS, which stands for Providing Assistance, Leadership and Service. They are tasked with various duties during the day and throughout the week that helps ensure school operates smoothly. 

“Basically, we’re like role models for the rest of the school,” says eighth grader Lilly Weisbrod. “And then we also do jobs, like holding the doors open in the morning and raising and lowering the flag out front.”

In order to be a part of PALS, students must hold themselves to a high standard and go through a process of applying and interviewing. “First, you have to fill out an application, have recommendations and do an interview with Miss D’Avella,” says eighth grader Ashlyn Long. “You're only allowed to interview at the end of seventh grade.”

D’Avella says that although PALS students have to maintain their grades and good behavior, it isn’t just a group of kids with good grades. “Character, to me, is the most important aspect of PALS,” says D’Avella. “It's kids who are hardworking and who have good character. And so, you know, getting along with others, being a good leader and being a good role model to other students.”

Meeting every day for 45 minutes, the students are usually busy with lots of activities, grade checks, planning and fundraising. Since it is a leadership class, PALS students are learning organizational and time-management skills in addition to giving back to the community and showing pride in their school.

“The PALS are one of the many positives about being the dean of students,” says D’Avella. “I’m always amazed at these kids, all the things that they do, and just how genuinely awesome they are. I think they’re getting great training in learning how to aspire to bigger things.”