Brianna Salvarrey receives a special pin during a Sierra Middle School Kiwanis Builders Club pinning ceremony for monies raised for a variety of causes, Thursday. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Eighteen students at Sierra Middle School received their Kiwanis Builders Club membership pins Thursday morning in a special ceremony that highlighted the accomplishments the club made in its first year. Sierra’s first-ever Builders Club is made up of seventh- and eighth-grade students whose stated mission is to help and serve its school and the community.
Builders Club accomplishments included raising $1,000 for a Halloween school dance, raising $105.33 to help pregnant women in Africa get shots to fight tetanus in newborn babies and collecting nearly 5,500 food and clothing items for The Salvation Army’s Christmas drive.
The students were joined at their meeting Thursday by Kiwanis Club officers who brought them their Builders Club membership pins, club banners, certificates and bracelets.
Mary Moore, Sierra history teacher and sponsor of the club, said the students have worked diligently to help others in the community from the moment Builders Club formed at the school in September. Moore said in the 11 years she’s been with Sierra, she has never seen more student dedication and effort than when Builders Club members helped The Salvation Army with its drive.
“I don’t know if you can imagine (5,500 items), but we had to get the truck out here twice,” she said. “And historically, they said they had never seen anything like that before from a school.
“(The students) had their own organization set up for how they counted these items, where the credit went to different classrooms and became a competition. These kids did it all. I didn’t do anything. Everybody had a job, everybody went and got items — some counted, some kept the records, some got the announcements ready for the next day. It was incredible. They ran it like a business.”
School principal Rhonda Martinez said the enthusiasm she has seen from Builders Club members this year is a good sign of the impact those students will make in the community. “For a first-year club, what they’ve been able to do for our community has been amazing. I can’t wait to see it grow.”
“I can’t say enough of how proud I am of the kids for responding like this,” Martinez said. “Creating a sense of community is so extremely important. Because at some point, we’re going to turn everything in this world over to these kids. The more we can develop that sense of community now, and that sense of pride and service, the better.”