BLP students, schools give to those in need this season

The holiday break at local schools is fast approaching, and students, staff and families in Bend-La Pine have been busy giving back to the community in a variety of ways this month.

“We care deeply about developing our students’ character and teaching them to be generous, kind and empathetic individuals,” said Superintendent Shay Mikalson.

The district released just a partial list of the ways students were helping those in need during the holidays, including:

  • Amity Creek Magnet at Thompson School is collecting donations for students and families in need.
  • Bend Tech Academy at Marshall High School students are hosting a special blood drive on Christmas Eve in honor of a local woman who needed many blood transfusions after recently giving birth. Contact Kelly Peters for details at
  • Cascade Middle School art students created hand-painted chairs for an annual silent auction set Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. All proceeds will go to benefit the Sparrow Club and art department.
  • Elk Meadow Elementary School is hosting a food drive for Neighbor Impact, with a goal of donating 2,000 items by Dec. 18. The school is also hosting a winter gear collection event for local students in need of supplies, through Dec. 20.
  • Rosland Elementary School families are collecting food for La Pine Christmas Baskets through Dec. 18.
  • Summit High School’s library is hosting a free book gift giveaway Dec. 17-18. Students can select a free book to give as a gift or to keep for themselves.
  • Three Rivers School hosts its annual Holiday Store Dec. 17-19. Through good behavior, students earn Otter Bucks to “shop” at the store, which is filled with items donated by local community members. The goal is to teach students the joy of giving to loved ones. Three Rivers is also hosting a food drive through Dec. 17 for families in need.

Other giving efforts that recently concluded include:

  • High Lakes Elementary School families brought gifts for families in need in the community.
  • North Star Elementary School families donated to students and families in need through the Wish Upon a Star campaign. North Star kindergartners also recently visited a retirement facility to sing and bring holiday cheer to residents.
  • Pacific Crest Middle School eighth-grade artists painted favorite childhood books onto refurbished chairs for an auction to support the KIDS Center. The event also included an art show, sale of T-shirt bags and a warm winter clothing drive for FAN.
  • Ponderosa Elementary School hosted a Giving Tree to donate gifts for students and families in need.
  • Silver Rail Elementary School families created “Welcome Kits” for Every Child Oregon, which provides help for children between their home and placement in foster care.
  • Sky View Middle School students teamed up with the PTSA for their annual hot chocolate event, in which volunteers serve cups of hot chocolate to students, staff and parents in cups written with words of encouragement.
  • Summit High School staff, students and families collected gift cards to give to FAN advocates. Together, they collected more than $7,000 in gift cards to give to families in need.
  • Three Rivers School students wrote holiday letters and cards to families at the Ronald McDonald House.
  • Westside Village Magnet at Kingston School hosted a Winter Bazaar with a kindness theme. Students created kindness-themed artwork to sell at the bazaar.


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