UNION — A competition between Gamecocks and Tigers and between different classrooms of Eagles will help make Thanksgiving a happier time for some needy families.
For the past three weeks, the students of Foster Park Elementary School have been divided along the most important of all dividing lines in South Carolina: the Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina vs. the Tigers of Clemson University. The Gamecocks and Tigers of Foster Park Elementary School have squared off against each other to see which — Gamecocks or Tigers — could collect more canned and other non-perishable food items.
The competition, which got under way Nov. 1, concluded Tuesday with all the canned and other non-perishable food items stacked on the stage in the FPES cafeteria. The items collected by the Gamecocks and the Tigers included pinto beans, corn, spinach, black eye peas, collared greens, carrots, cranberries, sweet potatoes, evaporated and condensed milk, Vienna sausage, spaghetti and meatballs, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese, noodles, tomato soup, potatoes, instant oatmeal, corn muffin mix, green beans, mixed vegetables, vegetable soup, and much more.
All in all, school officials say that a total of 1,185 canned and other non-perishable goods were collected by the school’s Gamecocks and Tigers with the aid of their families and the FPES PTO which oversaw the food drive.
In the competition between the Gamecocks and the Tigers, school officials said the Gamecocks collected the most, making them the winner of that part of the food drive.
The canned and other non-perishable goods collected by the Eagles will be distributed to needy FPES families and other needy families in the community.
FPES Principal William Sizemore praised the school’s students for their efforts and their families and the PTO for their support of the effort.
“It just shows how much our families and children care about others,” Sizemore said Tuesday. “The teachers encouraged them and the PTO organized it. This is just typical of our PTO and what they do for the school and for the community. They’re awesome.”
While like the rest of South Carolina, the FPES student body is divided into Gamecocks and Tigers, the mascot of Foster Park Elementary School is Eddie Eagle, making the school the Eagles. In addition to competing as Gamecocks and Tigers, each classroom of Eagles competed against one other to see which class could collect the most canned and other non-perishable goods.
The winner of that competition was Sally Inman’s 5th grade class which collected 199 canned and other non-perishable goods or slightly more than one-sixth of the total collected. The students in the class are:
• Logan Adams
• Ryan Braun
• Hallie Brewington
• Jacob Davis
• Samantha Dix
• Shanarvya Duckett
• D’Aisha Gregory
• Barry Hopkins
• Alezha Jeter
• ZyAaron Kelly
• Solomon Land
• Kimori McMahon
• Natalie Mobley
• Adrien Norman
• Rachel Rogers
• Jaylen Sinclair
• Ashtyn Song
• Cashmiere Spencer
• Nickolas Strong
• Zariay’en Thomas
• Janeia Tucker
• Jahbari Walton
• Tristan Yi
Assistant Principal Stacy McAbee said that the race for first place among the classrooms was tight, pointing out that the second place class collected 153 canned and other non-perishable goods.
“We are so proud of this class, of the entire school,” McAbee said.
Inman praised her students, pointing out that their efforts not only demonstrates the type of persons they are now, but the kind of persons they will become as well.
“This is an awesome class,” Inman said. “We love competition and I can already tell they are going to be productive citizens of society because they care about each other as well as people in our community.”
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.