One of the most important things members of a community can do is take care of each other, and nowhere is that better demonstrated than in our schools and city around the holidays. Here are just some ways our schools and local businesses are giving to those who need it most:
Hundreds of Students Help Citizens During Annual “Big Event”
A zillion pesky weeds, yards of board fence, and strings of holiday lights were no match for the 528 students and 80+ adults who on November 19 fanned out across Rio Rancho to help local residents during Rio Rancho High’s ninth annual “Big Event”.
During this annual community service day, students and adult volunteers give of their time and energy to help local residents with household chores. The students pull weeds and rake yards, help with cleaning and painting, or whatever the homeowner needs done. This year, one local resident asked the students to help with decorating for Christmas. Many of those asking for help are older residents who are no longer able to do heavy yard work and cleaning by themselves.
The students, mostly from Rio Rancho High but also from Cleveland High and Lincoln Middle School, visited 86 job sites this year. Each team of five students is headed by an adult volunteer, many of whom are teachers. The RRPS transportation department provides buses and drivers to take the teams to and from job sites. This year, the students helped out at 86 “job sites.”
The whole shebang is coordinated by the 106 members of the RRHS student council, who spend six weeks planning and executing the huge project. The “Big Event” was pioneered more than 10 years ago by higher education institutions; RRHS is one of the few high schools in the country to participate.
Rams Athletes'/RRPD Toy Drive
Every child deserves a holiday surprise or two, and every year Rio Rancho High athletes and the Rio Rancho Police Department team up to see that just that happens! The student athletes from all sports -- fall, winter, and spring -- gather up literally a mountain
of goodies for delivery to law enforcement officers. The photos show just some of the athletes and some of the toys! The police department then holds a huge event for families in need and presents the goodies to the delighted children.
Students Make Pillows for the Homeless
Eagle Ridge Middle School 7th grade AVID students use their in-house field trips to prepare and make pillows for donation to the homeless.
RRMS Pays It Forward
The Rio Rancho Middle School Pay It Forward Club helped residents of the Fairwinds Retirement Community carve pumpkins for their annual Halloween festivities for local neighborhood children. Students and residents worked side-by-side to create masterpiece jacko- lanterns!
In the Pink
If the amount of pink donned by clubs, sports teams and students around Rio Rancho could make could cure breast cancer, the disease would be extinct by now. Unfortunately though, breast cancer is still with us and our students are on the front lines raising money for cancer research and to support those battling breast cancer. Cheerleaders in pink socks, guys with pink armbands – you name it, we have it.
One of the first and oldest “pink” events is the volleyball teams’ annual “Dig Pink” contest, where the Rams and Storm teams try to outdo each other both on the court and in the fundraising department. This year’s Dig Pink raised $4,200 by the Rams alone!
Over at Cleveland High, instead of wearing costumes for Halloween, students, staff and administrators orchestrated a “pink out” in honor and support of two staff members who are currently battling breast cancer.
Koats for Kids
Churches, community organizations, and local businesses work hard to make sure students in need don’t freeze through the winter, donating warm coats and clothing for those who can’t afford them. One of the community’s most high-profile events, Channel 7’s “KOATs for Kids,” swooped into three Rio Rancho school campuses – literally. The station’s bright yellow helicopter, Sky 7, and satellite broadcast truck visited Maggie Cordova (pictured), Puesta del Sol, and Colinas del Norte Elementary Schools to drop off dozens of winter coats to be given to children who really can use them. (The kids loved seeing and learning about the chopper, too!)