Every year, Summit Christian Academy (SCA) staff, students, parents, and friends of the Salt Lake City school participate in a workathon. The students send out letters to friends, family, and church members asking them to be their sponsors. The students typically do a day of community service away from the school campus; however, this year, due to the pandemic, things were done a little differently.
Everyone joined forces for a cleanup day at the school facility. Activities included cleaning up the school grounds, hallways, and gym walls. Classmates in grades TK-2 used their energy removing rocks prior to the first lawn mowing of the year. They did a terrific job!
As each of the income goals set by the teachers was achieved, a unique award incentive for the workathon participants took place. At the accomplishment of the $6,000 goal, all of the students received a frozen fruit bar. When the $7,000 goal was realized, the third- and fourth-grade teacher, Ms. McCaw, dyed her hair something wild and crazy. At $7,500, SCA’s fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Roy, had his head shaved. At the accomplishment of the $8,000 goal, Rith Dok, the seventh- and eighth-grade teacher, and his wife, Nicola Dok, who teaches TK-K, made root beer floats for the students. “I liked the root beer floats we got for reaching one of our goals the best!” exclaimed first-grader Cylan Ciulla. When the final goal of $9,000 was reached, first- and second-grade teacher Sara Willard made s’mores for everyone. As of this writing, $9,040 in donations have been received.
The fun and excitement of watching Ms. McCaw and Mr. Roy on Dye and Shave Day was a reward looked forward to by all. Third-grader Caleb Ciulla said, “It was fun watching Mr. Roy have his head shaved and Ms. McCaw having her hair dyed purple and teal!” A big thanks to hairdresser Evon Webb for making the whole experience entertaining and memorable for one and all.
On top of the tremendous success with the cash donations, the school chose to collect boxes of cereal as a community service project. More than 200 boxes were donated to the local food bank as a result of the efforts of students and staff. The children got the chance to test their skills by lining up all 208 boxes of cereal, domino style, in the school hallway—starting at the top of the second-floor ramp and winding down the ramp to the main hallway on the first floor. Debbie Lawrence, a member of the SCA administrative assistant team, shared, “It was exciting to observe the students’ excitement grow as they did the countdown to the domino cereal box rally.” It was thrilling to watch the boxes fall. Even better, the cereal donation delivery to the Utah Food Bank weighed in at 272 pounds!
Cindy McCaw, SCA head teacher and third- and fourth-grade teacher, shared her satisfaction and delight with the outcome of the event. “Due to the restraints the COVID-19 pandemic brought upon us, this year’s workathon was a change from other years. We usually go and work in our community by cleaning up the parks and the neighborhoods around the school. We also go to Wheeler Historic Farm to help them clean up and get ready for their summer programs,” she explained. “In spite of the constraints, we were able to come up with other work projects. One was sending cards to the care centers near the school. Another was the breakfast cereal drive for the food bank. COVID-19 guidelines encouraged distance and isolation; however, we felt it was important to reach out to others. Next year we hope to get back to our former service projects, while adding the care centers and food bank to our list of projects in reaching out to our community.”
It is inspiring to see what a school of exuberant youth are able to do when challenged with a worthy task. Keep up the good work!
By Debbie Lawrence
If you would like to see the domino cereal box rally in action, you can watch it on Facebook using the following links:
Full Rally: https://fb.watch/5ygMPAQnbb/
Last part of rally in slow motion: https://fb.watch/5ygJpRVDAR/