by Brenda Steffens
Director of Communications
MCR-I Schools
Each year, Matt Unger, superintendent of Morgan County R-I Schools, selects a theme for the school year. This year the theme is “appreciate.”
Too often, we get so caught up in our own problems, our own busy schedules, or the negativity in the world that we forget to stop and appreciate all the positive things going on in our lives.
Two weeks ago, we featured our custodial staff that works hard day after day. Too often, we forget to say “Thank you” for all the hard work someone does to make our lives easier. In the upcoming months, we will feature other school employees who work hard, and the appreciation we have for them.
We have only been in school six short weeks, and already we have several groups of students who have shown their appreciation to other groups.
All too often, we hear how young people in our country, and even in our community, care about themselves and not others.
Not long after school started, we heard of the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. MCR-I elementary students raised more than $1,100 to help buy school supplies for students affected by these hurricanes.
Karla Homan’s kindergarten class raised the most money, and will receive an ice cream party.They are an example of students helping those they do not know, because they appreciate what they have and want others to have the same.
The soccer team and Coach Chris Witte spent a recent Sunday afternoon at the Stover Animal Shelter, spreading gravel in all the pens as a service project. After shoveling gravel for several hours, they took time out to play with the dogs and puppies.
The cross country team and coaches Jessica Smith and Cindy Marriott pick up trash each week in the park to keep it looking nice.
The Stover FFA and FCCLA, along with sponsors Bryan Rumans and Kristen Foster, picked up trash Wednesday, Sept. 20 along Highway 52. It was a super-hot day, but these students picked up trash for over two miles of highway as their way of showing appreciation for the support they receive from our community.
This past week, students in grades 7-12 have been having a penny war to raise money for Eldon student Hunter Bushnell. Bushnell was seriously injured at football practice and is in the hospital.
The students wanted to help his family with medical expenses. They came up with the idea of penny wars between the classes. Each penny is a positive, but silver change is a negative. Students will want to put pennies in their class’s can and silver change in other classes’ cans. All bills are positive for the classes. As of this writing, more than $400 has been collected.
In six short weeks of school, the students of MCR-I are busy showing their appreciation to the community, an area student, and students they do not even know.
Let’s thank the students, parents, teachers, and staff for giving their time and money to show appreciation to others. It just makes one wonder what these students will accomplish during the rest of the school year.

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