In the popular Hunger Games book series by Suzanne Collins, children in a dystopian future are forced to battle each other to death to bring back food to their famine-ravaged districts.
As the series progresses, competitors eventually band together to fight for justice. A local high school has decided to leverage the popularity of the series to skip to the end result and inspire students to work together for a common cause.
Orchard Farm High School in St. Charles is piloting a new program they are calling the Hunger Games Challenge. Much like the book series, students are competing, and one of the prizes is food. But all the food collected will go to the OASIS food pantry. Students are also working to raise money for the Adopt-A-Family program.
Students will compete in teams made up of their Personal Adult Advocate (PAA) groups, which promote attachment and character education by incorporating the Missouri Model Guidance Curriculum. School administrators hope that along with the community service, the event will raise awareness among the students about poverty and hunger issues and promote character education and team-building skills.
This event will combine several programs already in place at the high school, including the Adopt-A-Family program and the Student Council Canned Food Drive. From Halloween, until November 21, PAA teams are trying to raise the most money and canned goods.
The event has already been a success. Students were told about the event on Halloween, and in the first day of the competition, pledged more money for the Adopt-A-Family program than they did during the entire fund raising campaign last year.
The day before Thanksgiving, Wednesday, November 21, 2012, will be solely dedicated to this event. Students will compete through their PAA group in various challenges, which include a “Minute to Win It” station, a trivia challenge, an obstacle course and others.
Each challenge will be tied to a character lesson pertaining to helping others in need. The aim is to build camaraderie among the students and promote altruistic values. Selected faculty and club sponsors will participate in the grand finale, an obstacle course.
To help raise money that day, Pepsi has donated products that will be sold throughout the day, and other local area businesses are invited to participate by donating items to be sold, making monetary gifts, or by sponsoring one of the 26 PAA group.
The Dairy Queen restaurant at the intersection of Highways 94 and 370 has already jumped in to offer support as has the school's DECA club and PTO. A Hat Day is planned to encourage faculty and students to donate as well.
This undertaking is being organized by a committee made up of faculty, staff, and administrators. Their hope that this event will become an annual undertaking that can successfully help area families in need as well as encourage students to take an active interest in serving others.
“I think that it’s important for our students to understand issues that have an impact on our community as well as our world,” Principal Brian Smith said. “Poverty and hunger are issues that may impact our friends and neighbors, and most of us know individuals that struggle to adequately provide for themselves and their families.
My hope is that Orchard Farm High School can do its part to assist local families who are in need and can benefit from our campaign that stresses awareness and action from our student body.”
The success of this event depends on involvement from outside organizations, businesses, and individuals. Those interested in contributing should contact Principal Brian Smith at 636-250-5400 or email@example.com.