Builders’ club ready to ‘Stand in the Gap’

KINGSTON — If kids become more fluent at reading at Wolfle Elementary next year, and bullying becomes less prevalent at Kingston Junior High, the KJH builders’ club will be one group to thank.

After hours of working selling snacks at Viking Cup and Viking Fest this year, the student group, which is dedicated to community service, had money to donate. Students voted to donate $250 to Wolfle’s Washington Reading Corps program, and $250 donated to Standing in the Gap.

“They need more books and supplies to help their program,” said Builders’ Club member Alyssa Lamsma, talking about the Reading Corps program.

“That’s great — that’s great news,” said Pat Bennett-Forman, the coordinator of the program at Wolfle, upon hearing the news of the donation.

Bennett-Forman said the funds will help fund one of the six Family Fun Reading nights the school holds every year.

The evenings provide food, activities and a chance for parents to learn how to read to their children.

“The primary purpose is to increase parents’ understanding of how reading works with kids — how to teach their kids to read,” Bennett-Forman said.

The other $250 will go toward Standing in the Gap, an anti-bullying program started by several KJH administrators earlier this year. The program educates junior high students about bullying, including how to spot and avoid it.

Kingston Junior High students said the success of this year’s anti-bullying assembly, which included anti-violence speaker Dan Heidt, made them want to help fund it next year.

“It meant a lot to kids, what he had to say,” Sara Hall said.

“When we did it this year, it was fun, so we thought it’d be fun next year too,” Johnny Pariser added.

Students voted on where to spend the $750 raised, some of which will be held over for seed money next year.

“They’ve been an outstanding group to work with. They accept responsibility and make good decisions,” Advisor Jeffrey McDannold said,

The students say they enjoy the community service the program requires and also enjoyed selling food during Viking Cup.

“I thought it’d be fun,” Jenna Dumford said.

“It was interesting. We meet some fun people,” ninth grader Nathan Zuchowski remarked.

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