Hungry Tigers to Help "Food Insecure" Carthage Students

October 20, 2011
Dr. Blaine Henningsen, Carthage Superintendent
Lee Elliff Pound
JOPLIN, MO (SNS) - The Hungry Tiger Pilot Program, a partnership between students and teachers at Carthage Junior High School with the Carthage R-9 Foundation and Missouri Southern State University, will address hunger among Carthage students.
The program is being paid for by a State Farm Youth Advisory Board Grant of just under $97,000.

A check presentation will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Carthage Junior High.

On a number of occasions, junior high students have asked Family and Consumer Science (FACS) teacher, Kim Hoover, if they could take home food prepared during class so they would have something to eat over the weekend.
The program will feature collaboration between junior high students and high school and college students to plan and implement a program to distribute backpacks of weekend food, recipe ingredients and kitchen essentials to food insecure Junior High Students -- approximately 54 in the R-9 district.
Youth will be involved in the planning and execution of the project in the following ways:

* Pilot class students will select and prepare backpack food;
* Pilot class students will engage in the development and operation of a food pantry;
* Youth will have primary responsibility for planning and developing a media campaign via traditional media, social media, flyers, handouts, posts to Facebook and Twitter, a Hungry Tiger blog and other "Animoto" video shorts;
* Youth will develop a Hungry Tiger Cookbook and Hungry Tiger Calendar;
* Pilot class students will design floats and booths for public events including parades and fairs; and
* Pilot class students will take part in other media/outreach opportunities as identified by youth in planning process.
Through Service Learning, Carthage students enrolled in the FACS class will (1) meet the needs of hungry peers by providing food to food insecure students, (2) increase rigors of curriculum in Math, Science, Language Arts and Technology and (3) develop a sense of community serve and civic engagement.

The Hungry Tiger program will improve teacher quality through professional development opportunities while providing junior high students food and skills necessary to build a strong foundation for classroom success.
“We are excited to partner with Missouri Southern State University, State Farm Insurance and the Carthage R-9 Foundation in the implementation of the Hungry Tiger Program,” said Carthage R-9 Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Blaine Henningsen.

“Through this service learning project, our students will be provided an opportunity to give back to our community and to help their peers who are in need,” Dr. Henningsen added

Carthage Agent Jerry Poston said that State Farm is committed to education. “All children should have access to a high-quality education that equips them to achieve their greatest potential,” Poston said. “State Farm supports service-learning because it provides context for talking about learning in terms of not only what students know but also what they are able to do for the community,” Poston added. “I am looking forward to seeing the great things these students can accomplish.”

In the future, the Hungry Tiger Project will use several avenues to publicize the project and promote State Farm and the State farm Youth Advisory Board. These avenues will include T-shirts to be worn by students when participating in community or media events or for use in prizes and giveaway.

Students will be encouraged to produce "Animoto" video shorts about their Service Learning experiences.

Key partners for the program include the Missouri Southern State University; Carthage R-9 School System; Carthage R-9 Foundation; and local State Farm Representatives.