DAPHNE — Last year, a change came to the Homecoming Court at Daphne High School.The school introduced the Homecoming King Court Community Outreach Project - a new way to name the school's …
DAPHNE — Last year, a change came to the Homecoming Court at Daphne High School.
The school introduced the Homecoming King Court Community Outreach Project - a new way to name the school's homecoming king and help the community.
HOW IT BEGAN
The 2021 king was selected based on the amount of donations they and their grade level collected. These items were then donated to Prodisee Pantry.
"Last year, my SGA (Student Government Association) co-sponsor, Mary Donna Helms, and I were brainstorming on ways that we can have a bigger impact, and we normally do a canned food drive for Prodisee Pantry in November," Nikki Minoso, Daphne High teacher and SGA co-sponsor, said. "But really, they need their food before November so they can start organizing and figuring out what they have. So, we thought, let's do our food drive with homecoming, because then we can get them the canned food ahead of time and maybe it'll be a bigger impact, and we can have the king be nominated by the class that brings in the most cans."
The project was an instant success. Minoso said over 3,000 cans of food were donated, and Prodisee Pantry made two trips to transport all of the donations.
"I know the importance of being able to connect with your community," Minoso said. "We have kids within our own school who have needs, so when we're doing this, we're helping our whole Daphne family, as well as other families in the area."
THE 2022 HOMECOMING KING COURT COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROJECT
While the school will be doing a canned food drive for Prodisee Pantry, it will be separate from the homecoming donations this year.
For 2022, the potential kings will rally their peers to donate toiletry items to be distributed between three local nonprofits: Flourish AL, Fostering Together Gulf Coast and Ruff Wilson Youth Organization.
"We have an SGA officer retreat in the summer, so on June 13, I met with our grade level officers and reps and our full SGA officers and brought in some nonprofit organizations to teach the kids about what is happening within our community and give them some ideas on how they can help," Minoso said. "The kids were so moved by all three organizations they couldn't choose just one; they wanted to work with them all."
Each grade level is collecting different items for this year's homecoming donations. The ninth-grade class is collecting toothbrushes (baby, child or adult); 10th grade is collecting toothpaste (baby, child or adult); 11th grade is collecting baby soap or body wash; and 12th grade is collecting deodorant.
Donation will be collected through Sept. 15. Items will be counted that Thursday afternoon, and the 2022 homecoming king will be announced Friday morning, Sept. 16.
"I love the pomp and circumstance of homecoming, but I also think a huge aspect of homecoming is just remembering your home and your community, and taking care of each other," Minoso said. "I think this is a fun way to find a nice balance of the normal, traditional homecoming, but then also remembering your community and to have that outreach."
INTRODUCING THE 2022 KING PROSPECTS
Potential kings first fill out an application to participate. Then, students vote on who they would like to represent each grade level.
This year, representatives are Khalil Sanogo for ninth grade, Eli Lores for 10th grade, Troy Capstraw for 11th grade and JB Bellew for 12th grade.
"These young men are the representatives for their grade levels," Minoso said. "Their job will be to start rallying the troops and say, 'Hey, this is what we need to bring in.' There's been more excitement this year just by the fact that we had so many people apply. It's been great to see so many young men step up and say, 'I want to do this.'"
Minoso said another great aspect is the diversity found among the prospective kings.
"We have an international baccalaureate student, we have a football player, we have a lacrosse player, and our sophomore mister is one of our student government officers," she said. "So, we do have a very nice mix, it's a wide demographic.
"They're all really good young men who are well-rounded, who represent our community well, and who care," she added. "I'm so excited to have them at the helm. Any class could win this, any class could pull it off; they all have strong leaders."
WHAT DOES SGA DO?
"SGA is an organization where we work with our members to make sure that we do our best to include and act on behalf of our student body, so the kids have their hands on many different activities," Minoso said. "It can be difficult for them to figure out how to have an impact, so one of the things we've been working on the last couple of years is making sure that SGA has a bigger impact and we help all our members find a way to contribute."
SGA works on a variety of projects during the school year, she said. A few ways SGA makes an impact include:
"The students are so caring, it's been exciting to find more ways for them to reach out," Minoso said. "It's interesting, because you can see when a student connects with something, how passionate they are about it. We try to help as far and wide as we can."
Now, Minoso said the Homecoming King Court Community Outreach Project gives students another avenue to impact their community. And, she hopes, the message will continue to spread.
"I've had another teacher from another school who works with her student government email me and ask about what we're doing because they want to do the same thing," she said. "It will be really awesome if all of the Baldwin County high schools follow suit, and we help more people. I think that would be beautiful."
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