They laughed. They giggled. They cheered when they beat the high school kids in arm wrestling. They talked about school as they gobbled down their lunches. They applauded the “big kids” who danced between the rows of cafeteria tables. They asked the visiting high schoolers questions and were quick to offer them hugs before leaving.
Students at Compton Elementary School were making new friends. Their new friends pulled up to the school in a yellow bus from Hillgrove High School ready to show the Compton students “What the World Needs Now.” Love, that’s the answer according to the red t-shirts that the Hillgrove band students wore.
The smiles on the faces of the Compton students showed the impact the Hillgrove students were having on the younger versions of themselves. They were building relationships, but the band students didn’t stop there.
The band partnered with No Child Hungry, a non-profit, which runs out of MacLand Presbyterian Church to “March Out Hunger.” The Hillgrove musicians raised more than $5,000 so students at Compton Elementary could take home food to their families. Before visiting with the students during lunch, the Hillgrove students and their parents packed over 3,500 meals for students in the Cobb community. They passed out some of the food to the Compton students on the two days that they visited the school.
The idea of students helping students came from Hillgrove junior Nathan Jones, who helped rally his fellow band members to join the cause to prevent child hunger. In the past, when Nathan helped pack meals for those in need in Haiti, he knew there were students in his own community in need. So, Nathan and his bandmates stepped up to help. That’s What the World Needs Now.