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Highland Elementary in Ridgeland, MS is constantly striving to enhance our students’ future. At Highland we understand the importance of shaping our student’s character and have implemented a plan to aid us in this goal. Children must learn to become good citizens and to give back to their community in every possible way. As a school we have started a program, Highland’s Hands, to help us accomplish this goal. The program is developing interdependence between the students of Highland and the community of Ridgeland. We work with the City of Ridgeland, community leaders, and various non-profit organizations in order to serve our local population. The main goal of this initiative is to teach our children the importance of working together for the common good of society.
Arts for Autism
This was a come and go silent auction event! We featured paintings by our Autism Spectrum Disorder Class. Every cent earned through this event was given to Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization. We also featured items donated by local merchants. We raised over $2,000 for Autism Speaks!
Our first project for Highland’s Hands was a clean-up day! It was held on September 17, 2011. This was National Citizen’s Day and our children practiced being good citizens by cleaning up Ridgeland’s Multi-Use trail! We filled many bags with litter from the trail. We would like to thank Home Depot for donating the trash bags and rubber gloves that made this project possible! We even had a celebrity citing that day- Mayor Gene McGee was bike riding and stopped to tell us “Thank You”!
Highland’s Hands October Project
For the month of October students at Highland Elementary collected new stuffed animals to become “Battalion Buddies”. Each class collected as many new stuffed animals as possible. The buddies were then be given to local children of deployed military personnel through the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program. The children of Highland also wrote letters for the families of deployed military personnel. The letters provided encouragement to those left behind by brave members of our community that are serving our country. We presented our donations to Erin Freeman (Mrs. Freeman’s daughter) at our annual Veteran’s Day program.
Caring for Christmas
Our last project before Christmas was for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree! Students were able to purchase paper Christmas ornaments to decorate our Christmas trees at the front of our school. The students to colored their ornament and wrote their name on it. ALL money collected went directly to the purchase of gifts for as many Angel Tree children as possible. The Angel Tree program provides underprivileged children with holiday gifts such as bicycles, clothing, special-needs gifts and other wished-for items such as toys. Highland raise $1300 for local Angel Tree children!
We would also like to thank our local businesses that supported our efforts:
BankPlus, Books Are Fun, Blings N Things, MS Catfish Institute, BCI, Walgreens, and RadioShack of Jackson