The Cape Coral Police Department honored 14 students during its monthly Do The Right Thing awards ceremony this week at City Hall.
- Skye McCollum, 12th grade, Island Coast, daughter of Luanne Maki & Michael McCollum
- Brooke Kneram, 12th grade, Island Coast, daughter of Tara & John Walsh
High school seniors have a lot on their plates. With work, sports, college applications, friends and school activities there is not a lot of time remaining. These six Island Coast students, though, made the extra time. They heard of a teacher from North Fort Myers High who died unexpectedly leaving behind four children. Despite their schedules they took on the project of holding a Halloween party fund-raiser, decorating the establishment and working the event and were able to earn $562 for the family.
- Mary Castillo, 5th grade, St Andrew, daughter of Mercedes & Fernando Castillo
Mary's parents run a food pantry in Fort Myers and Mary has been going with them to work every Saturday since 2008. The children who attended with their parents inspired Mary and she began to notice their needs and act on them. She began teaching the children about manners and personal hygiene and began Catechism classes for them as well. Her bilingual ability helps this process. She has now recruited the older children to help to teach the younger ones. She has been working with 40 children and confided that at the end of the day each Saturday she is tired but happy and says that she is grateful for her parents who taught her well so that she can teach others. Mary has goals to become a missionary doctor in the future so she can help people in need.
- Hunter Thomas, 5th grade, Pelican Elementary, son of Jim & April Thomas
Hunter was nominated by his dad who writes the following, "Hunter's mother April & I are divorced. October 18th was my night with the boys; I was to pick up Hunter at his mother's work, Coral Trace Nursing Home. When I called her to tell her I was on my way, I was surprised that Hunter didn't want to go with me but said he'd rather stay and pass out dinners to the residents. I reassured April that it was a good thing he was doing and when I picked him up on Friday for the weekend, I asked about his experience at Coral Trace. He said he really enjoyed visiting with the residents and planned to do it again soon." Since then, his mom has also elaborated on Hunter's efforts at Coral Trace. She states that Hunter joins her often and plays bingo with the residents, and gives them rides to and from their rooms. He likes to deliver the mail and help them open it if necessary. He also brings the paper to them early on Saturday morning and reads to them. Both of Hunter's parents are proud to have a son who has such a big heart.
- Zachary Lovell, 7th grade, Gulf Middle, son of Brandey Lovell
- Brent Deno, 7th grade, Gulf Middle, son of Mike & Sherry Deno
We've all seen the work of the Salvation Army lately; the non-profit organization provides programs and services to help those in need through selfless service to others. Around the world, the Salvation Army provides social services to aid the poor, and runs additional programs including disaster relief, elderly services, prisoner rehabilitation and youth camps.
So when Gulf Middle held a canned goods drive to benefit the Salvation Army, Zachary and Brent went above and beyond to help. Zachary collected 360 cans of food and Brent collected 400 canned goods earning themselves the spots as top two contributors.
- Savannah Taylor, 3rd grade, Trafalgar Elementary, daughter of Ellery & Cathy Taylor
- Jillian Sagi, 3rd grade, Trafalgar Elementary, daughter of Joe & Jodi Sagi
About a month into the school year, Savannah and Jillian's class welcomed a new student who had a lot of difficulties and needed assistance adjusting to the school and classroom. These two young ladies didn't know the background of the new student; that she was uncomfortable in the new setting because she came from another school where she was being bullied. They only knew that she wasn't adjusting well, and without being prompted, Savannah and Jillian took a leadership role modeling how this child should be treated. They provided her with attention and were kind to her by sitting with her in the classroom and at lunch, explaining the daily routines to her, showing her where to find materials, and helping her with her work. They never left her side and aided her in every way possible. Their teacher states, "sometimes a student walks in your door and you feel proud to be their teacher because you know you've instilled the right qualities in your classroom."