CMA students donate shirts to Wichita Children’s Home

Christa McAuliffe Academy third-graders donated college t-shirts to the Wichita Children’s Home as a community service project.
Christa McAuliffe Academy third-graders donated college t-shirts to the Wichita Children’s Home as a community service project.

Third-grade students in Karla McGinnis class at Christa McAuliffe Academy wrapped up a community service project for the Wichita Children’s Home. The students donated more than 35 college t-shirts to give to the children staying there. The shirts had special messages attached encouraging them that their future will be better and they hope the shirts will bring a smile to their face.

Terry Calloway with the Wichita Children’s Home came to CMA to pick up the shirts and talked with the students about how WCH help children in Wichita and surrounding communities.

For the love of public radio

I’m a news junkie. There’s no denying it. I read news online nearly constantly. Anytime a newspaper is available, I consume its contents. My favorite television stations are 24-hour news channels, and I spend a majority of my day listening to National Public Radio in my vehicle or streaming online.

My NPR station of choice is 89.1 KMUW out of Wichita. I love the national programming the station carries, and the local news coverage is stellar, which is why the station has been receiving many awards of late.

KMUW recently held its pledge drive. Normally I don’t enjoy hearing the on-air personalities urging listeners  to make a donation, but for whatever reason, this time was different.

It didn’t bother me. Instead, the story and reasons given for contributing to public radio spoke to me. They inspired me.

I have been listening to KMUW for several years, but it wasn’t until this year that I experienced a moment of profound awareness.

KMUW was a service I used on a daily basis, and it was something I valued greatly. So, why was I willing to let others carry the weight of assisting the station in staying alive? Shouldn’t I do my part to ensure it continues to exist?

As I thought about it, I realized I couldn’t remember when I had last changed the radio station in my pickup. I realized I listen almost exclusively to NPR. I realized it was my first choice in listening, even when other options existed. Furthermore, I realized on the rare occasion a program I don’t enjoy comes on, I listen to NPR program podcasts.

It was a sign. I needed to contribute, so I made my first-ever public radio pledge.

So when did I become an NPR listener?

When I was younger, driving to school, the radio was always cranked up as I jammed to my favorite music. However, from the time I road on the school bus, I enjoyed the occasional break in the music for when the disk jockey would talk or, if you were riding on the bus with me, when Paul Harvey took over the airwaves and read the news.

As I moved into college and began studying journalism, I still listened to music in mornings, but I tended to gravitate to morning talk shows. These generally consisted of entertainment news and lively banter between hosts.

Then, as I got older and continued my study of the media, my tastes began to change. I fell deeply in love with the news. I started to seek out news programing, and that’s when I found National Public Radio.

I started off listening to NPR while living in western Kansas. I drove a morning bus route, and I always had the radio tuned to the local NPR station. The students I drove never complained, and one day forever stuck in my mind was the day one of my students, he was a young grade school student, got onto the bus and asked me if anything new had been said about a news story we had heard the previous day. Then he proceeded to tell me about a news story he saw on the television prior to me picking him up.

It was awesome! I felt like my listening to NPR in the mornings had instilled within him an interest in the news, and knowing what is going on in the world by consuming news is a key component to living in a democracy.

Public radio is important to a community, and because it is a public enterprise, it takes people who care to help keep it on the air. If you value local news and want to keep your community healthy, I urge you to donate to KMUW as well.

Christa McAuliffe crochet club leaves gifts for others

Students in Christa McAuliffe Academy’s Crochet Club placed scarves around downtown statues as gifts to others who need to stay warm.
Students in Christa McAuliffe Academy’s Crochet Club placed scarves around downtown statues as gifts to others who need to stay warm.

Students in Christa McAuliffe Academy’s Crochet Club gave gifts for others to keep warm. The Crochet Club, made up of 6th graders Judy Nguyen, Asia Dawson, Aubree Dawson, Mallory Floyd, and Penelope Johnson started to learn how to crochet in September. Since that time, they have created more than 30 scarves. The students, along with sponsor Stephanie Knutson, passed out the scarves to others at the Salvation Army. The scarves they were not able to pass out were placed around various statues downtown with notes attached telling the public they are welcome to take a scarf as a gift if they are cold. 

“So many lessons were learned from this project,” said Knutson.

“It was fun to learn how to crochet, but knowing that people are happy to receive something I created makes me feel happy and successful,” said Nguyen.

Enterprise student starts food drive at school

Enterprise student Juliana Robinson stands by some of the food items she’s helped collect to give to the Kansas Food Bank.
Enterprise student Juliana Robinson stands by some of the food items she’s helped collect to give to the Kansas Food Bank.

Juliana Robinson, 4th grade student at Enterprise Elementary, wanted to make sure others in the community don’t go hungry. She started a food drive at her school the first week of March to give items to the Kansas Food Bank. She and her classmates made posters to promote the food drive and made daily stops in each classroom to allow students to donate their items. A poster at the front of the school keeps a tally of how many items have been collected and how much each classroom has collected.

So far, the drive has collected more than 1,000 food items.

“It’s good to help others, and it feels good to know that the food will do that,” Robinson said.

Enjoy the season of giving year round

(Family Features) From clothing to housewares to toys, your old stuff can go a long way for someone new. As the season of giving approaches, look around your home – you might find there’s more to give than you thought.

Because everyone knows it is what’s inside that counts, The Glad Products Company has teamed up with Katie Holmes to support its Glad to Give program, which was inspired by people using Glad ForceFlex bags for heavy donations. Together, they are on a mission to inspire and enable giving year round and provide an easy way to do so.

“Winter fashion trends may change from year to year, but one thing that never goes out of style is helping others by giving back to your community,” Holmes said.

Holmes also offers these tips to make giving back enjoyable for the whole family:

Make It Personal – Getting personally involved in a cause you care about is particularly powerful whether you are donating your time or personal items. Take the time to look through areas of your home, such as closets, kitchen cupboards and the garage, for items that may once have had special meaning to you, but are no longer needed. Donating those items to someone in need is a much better choice than letting them sit unused.

Be Glad to Give – Whether you’re giving to a loved one or a complete stranger, giving provides you with rewards that extend far beyond that moment in time. Holmes recently donated a bag full of her family’s winter coats to One Warm Coat – a national nonprofit that works to provide gently worn coats to those in need – and was happy to lighten her load for a good cause. Just fill a Glad bag full of your gently used clothing or household items for donation and go to to schedule a free pick up with a local charity of your choice.

Involve Your Family – It’s never too early to teach your little ones how to have a giving spirit. Holmes is always looking for fun little ways to involve her daughter in giving to others – wrapping presents, baking cookies or making cards are easy ways for them to spend time together and make a meaningful contribution to our favorite local charities or even a friendly neighbor.

Enjoy the Benefits of Giving Back – One of the best things you can do with your gently used items is to give them a second life. While 33.6 percent of overall giving happens in the last three months of the year, the benefits are felt year round as people who help others are happier and healthier, according to the Network for Good Digital Giving Index.

Signup for your free donation bag and find more ways to give back year round at