In this blog post, Hannah Butterfield ’20 discusses the process and purpose behind her organizing and hosting of over twenty Lafayette Elementary students at The White Mountain School who celebrated their win for the most successful food donors to the “Souper Bowl Food Drive.”
On Saturday, February 9, a group of 20 Lafayette students came to The White Mountain School to celebrate their win as the two classes who donated the most to Souper Bowl Food Drive. Lafayette Regional is the local elementary school in Franconia, New Hampshire. The after school program where I work and volunteer, Lafter Care, organized the event Souper Bowl to collect goods for local food pantries. To incorporate the White Mountain community, I thought we could incentivize the kids with the chance to win an afternoon at our rock climbing gym. Thankfully, it worked! The Lafayette students jumped into action and we were able to collect 856 items and $140. The fifth grade and the second grade worked incredibly hard to win the opportunity to go to the climbing in the White Mountain gym.
Lafter Care is available everyday for students in grades K-6. This is the first year of the program, so I have been a part of all the developmental stages. I have learned so much about myself and my leadership abilities through my work with the program. I love what I do and I want to share the opportunity with The White Mountain School community. This winter, members of White Mountain’s community service team have the option to volunteer with Lafter. We were lucky enough to have Jim and Paul join us for the season. The kids love them! I was so excited to organize this rock climbing event because it meant I got to bring together the Lafayette community and The White Mountain School community. In the future, I hope to continue strengthening this connection.
After I spoke with Nate Snow (Assistant Head of School) about using White Mountain’s climbing wall, I knew I would also need the help of White Mountain students. When we had the Hunger Dinner for the Community Life program, I remember hearing many people say they wanted to take action to help fight food insecurity. Although it may seem indirect, by motivating the kids with our gym as a prize, we are doing exactly that. I was amazed by the amount of students who offered to help. We had enough White Mountain volunteers that each student who tried rock climbing could have one-on-one help. There were also volunteers who came to play gym games. They had a great time with the kids coming up with Goofy team names, like “The Meme-anators” or “Secret Chungus.” I’m so proud to be a part of community of people who are so enthusiastic and willing to help.
Lafayette students were able to get so much out of this experience because of the diligent work of the volunteers from White Mountain. For many of them, rock climbing was something they had never tried before. The one-on-one attention they received made each and every one of them feel successful. I was amazed as I watched a second grader reach the top of the wall on his first try. The fifth grade girls blew me away with their natural talent for the sport.