FFA Students Extend School Efforts Through the Holiday Break
Throughout the holiday season and winter break, hundreds of Atwater FFA members took part in various holiday and community service projects that represented the joy, spirit, and good will associated with Christmas and the New Year holidays.
During the last week of the 1st semester, just before the Christmas break, over 200 Atwater FFA students braved the cold weather and rain while gathering at the Ag Department for the annual “Morning Wave” at 6:30 am. The idea was created by FFA advisor Dave Gossman who, while residing in Bermuda in the late 1990’s, was inspired by the country’s famous Johnny Barnes who stood at the road leading into the city of Hamilton every weekday morning (rain or shine) to wave and greet everyone driving into work. For the past fifteen years, the Atwater FFA utilizes its December FFA meeting as a way to gather and socialize over hot chocolate, hot cider, and muffins and proceed to the main corner of the school to greet, wave, and wish everyone a “Happy Holiday” and “Merry Christmas” season. “It’s been a great tradition,” said FFA advisor Sam Meredith, “The best part is seeing the smile and enthusiasm on the passerby’s driving in their vehicles. I think we make their day!”
Throughout the end of the semester and during the winter recess, the Atwater High School Floral Design students participated in making Christmas wreaths and other Christmas floral arrangements for family and community members. “It’s an opportunity for ‘hands-on’ learning and applying one’s knowledge, skill, and creativity on a class related project that brings happiness over the holiday season,” said AHS agriculture instructor Kaylyn Davenport. Nearly 150 wreaths and Christmas floral arrangements were sold and delivered throughout the community.
Just prior to the Christmas holiday, the entire 1100+ Atwater High School agriculture student body participated in a month long canned food drive where over 5000 canned food items were collected by students just prior to the semester/winter break. The cans were donated to the Rotary Club and distributed to families throughout the local Atwater Community. In addition to the canned food, students harvested organs from local community growers who donated them to the cause. “I think the experience of delivering the food to families in need throughout the community was a powerful impact with our students as they understood firsthand how fortunate they are in comparison to the challenges many in our community face,” said FFA advisor Kim Macintosh. “The enthusiasm and efforts of our students towards the gift of “giving” is really what the holiday season is all about.”
For more information on the Atwater High School Agriculture Department and Atwater FFA, please log on the website www.AtwaterFFA.org .
Atwater High School Agriculture Department
PO Box 835 / 2201 Fruitland Ave
Atwater, CA 95301