From every corner of the district, finishing strong in 2019 involved the energy of students, parents, teachers, and administrators whose giving spirit filled our community with excitement, caring and lots of amazing service. All around Cobb, voices lifted in cheerful holiday songs, bands played, and audiences applauded. Baskets, stockings, stomachs, and wishes were filled by brigades of bright faces specializing in kindness and cheer who could be found in every school, planning, practicing and partnering to make good things happen.
Our counselors confirm the positive effects of voluntary service for both givers and recipients of all kinds of care, contributing to the overall well-being of each participant. Service projects build confidence and friendships all around, bringing people together. Lessons learned can last a lifetime, and the abundant good feelings produced puts a shine on our schools that always lasts well into the New Year.
This service, in addition to the focus on academic success, is part of each school’s culture, with traditions old and new being established and strengthened in each passing season.
Here are some of the 2019 highlights:
Almost everywhere you went in December, Cobb choral students could be found harmonizing for the public. From landmarks like The Battery and shopping venues like The Avenues (both east and west), to the stages of senior living facilities and children’s homes, merry voices spread the holiday spirit and brought back warm memories of good cheer. Among many vocal and instrumental performances of the season, Teasley Elementary kicked off a new tradition with third graders calling on residents of The Social at Vinings assisted living. Brumby Elementary was so much in the spirit they deployed to 16 venues in two days, singing their holiday hearts out and probably setting records in multiple school chorus categories!
At schools like East Cobb Middle, King Springs Elementary, Mabry Middle School, and Kemp Elementary, Angel or Giving Trees were established, with King Springs specializing in gift cards and Kemp students providing real, old-fashioned Christmases for eleven families in need.
Student leaders at Mabry sparked the generosity of their community and granted the wishes of children at SafePath Children’s Advoacy Center, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children who have been abused. The East Cobb Wildcats spread their famous “positivity” by donating 200-plus gifts and food for the holidays, while the Hightower Trail Huskies focused on specifics, packing their sleigh of good cheer with 400 toothbrushes and almost as many sets of pajamas which no doubt continue to brighten smiles while keeping the recipients toasty in 2020. Hightower Trail is also one of just fifteen schools nationwide to earn a “KIND” designation and poster, based on its families’ good works!
Elsewhere around town, lucky kids got to Shop With a Mustang (Kennesaw Mountain High), Shop With a Falcon (Pebblebrook High), or Shop with a (Lassiter High) Trojan, among others. The Falcons hosted elementary students from Clay for a memorable day of fun. Further north, 86 Trojan students participated in the Lassiter shopping day, which is in its second year. Trojans raised close to $10,000 to sponsor 27 elementary students from 18 different families. And at Kennesaw Mountain, where their program is in its 16th amazing year, KMHS students mentored 158 elementary students for a day of shopping, wrapping, lunch and seemingly half the North Pole in attendance. The KMHS student body raised $38,000 to fund their day of wonder, which participants will certainly never forget!
The creativity of Cobb students truly knows no bounds, with other holiday cheer issuing forth. Among a stable of Harrison Hoyas events were a Hoya Holiday Home Tour, a Toys for Tots drive for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and participation in the Kennesaw Parade and Breakfast with Santa.
Dodgen Middle School Students donated a filled stocking for every day of the year – 365 – to the Salvation Army Christmas Cheer Program.
And the list goes on and on…. With kind and generous spirits and energy that knows no bounds, Cobb families and schools are making a difference and having a great and grateful time while they do it! Happy New Year to them all!