Posted: Oct 23, 2012 5:02 PM by Emily Spain
Updated: Oct 23, 2012 8:47 PM
COLUMBIA - At Gentry Middle School off of Bethel Street, one science teacher is challenging his students to lend a helping hand in the form of peanut butter. It's all for the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri's Buddy Pack program. The program sends food home with students over the weekend and holidays who may not have enough to eat at home.
The food bank partners with schools in all of the 32 counties it serves, including Boone County where Gentry Middle School is located. This school year the Buddy Pack program will feed approximately 6,700 students weekly.
Dean Klempke, the middle school science teacher leading the fundraiser at Gentry, challenged his students to raise 2,000 jars of peanut butter by this Friday, October 26. Last year, the students were able to raise 1,000 jars for the food bank. This year, he threw in an extra incentive to help encourage the kids to reach the new goal: Klempke will shave his head if students collect all the jars.
"I've been trying to talk my wife into letting me shave it for years," Klempke said. "I said, 'Look if I can get the kids to raise 2,000 jars of peanut butter can we make this happen?' So she finally gave in."
Last week the students had nearly 1,500 jars already.
"Kids are helping kids, the school is helping kids and I'm just honored to be the guy organizing it all," Klempke said.
The students accepted Klempke's challenge said they will make it happen no matter what.
"I can teach them science all day long and they'll remember some of it, but what I really want them to take away from this is that if they have the possibility of helping others then they'll go ahead and do it," Klempke said.
It seems some of the lessons Klempke is trying to teach his students are starting to stick.
"I really believe in just helping people out and making sure everybody's happy because everybody deserves to have a good life," said Michael Gard, one of Klempke's 7th graders.
If the students collect all 2,000 jars, Klempke will shave his head live on KOMU 8 News at Noon on Friday. For more information on the Buddy Pack program click here.