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Richland Two High Schools Give Generously to Charities


The holidays will be brighter for many in the Midlands area thanks to the hard work of high school students throughout Richland Two. Continuing the annual tradition, each of the district’s five high schools, in cooperation with our elementary and middle schools, successfully hosted student-led, school-wide service projects designed to encourage students to explore, understand and address needs within the community.

As district-wide totals are still being calculated, the numbers are adding up as follows: more than 85,421 non-perishable food items; 2,113 books; 1,676 clothing items; 1,373 toys; 1,293 personal care items; 772 bags for the homeless; 233 bags for National Guard members stationed in Afghanistan; 202 pints of blood donated; and $25,520 in cash donations to multiple charities and foundations. Students also sponsored 315 families and foster children from the Midlands.

Over the years, these school-wide service projects have grown in ambition and adapted to the ever-changing needs of the community. Many have been expanded into year-long drives that involve not only goods but service, too.

Blythewood High adopted Main Street Elementary School in Lake City through a program called Project Connect. The goal was to provide at least $500 worth of supplies for each of the school’s 14 classrooms as well as related arts classrooms. The school also received donations from parent groups, individuals, and other Richland Two schools. On Dec. 7, BHS student’s traveled to Lake City to personally deliver and set the supplies in every classroom, Main Street Elementary students arrived the following morning to positive notes on their desks and a festive gum ready for a pep rally. The rally included performances by the BHS Steel Drive Band, acaBengals, and both the Armed and Unarmed JROTC Drill Teams. The students at Main Street Elementary not only received their material donations, but also love and encouragement, which is just as much a necessity as the supplies.

Earlier in December, Westwood and Blythewood high schools joined forces for military families in the Blythewood area. The “Red, White, and Blue Holiday Party” included food, games, and carriage rides. Santa himself even made an appearance. Multiple groups including the NAHS, Leo Club, Culinary Arts, and Girls Basketball Teams helped set up and entertain kids of all ages.

During the first week in December, Westwood High school’s student senate, along with three honors societies, visited residents of the crossings, an independent and assisted living community. They played Bingo, tic-tac-toe and crafts with the seniors.

Each year the schools hold celebrator pep rallies with their own unique titles: Winter Wishes at Ridge View High, HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) 365 at Richland Northeast High, Redhawk Holidays – W.O.W Wishes of Westwood at Westwood High and Winter Days at Spring Valley High. Blythewood held its rally in Lake City.