Noble Central gives food drive a Nobleford spin

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Sure, other schools collect donations for the food bank by stuffing a bus or feeding a Volkswagen bug, but that just wouldn’t do at Noble Central School in Nobleford.

The school and the village are named for Charles Noble, the man who invented the Noble Blade, a plow that changed farming.

Firm to their roots, the students decided their food drive would fill the cab of a tractor, a Versatile, no less, made by a company that shares corporate DNA with the firm Noble founded.

But could a kindergarten through Grade 12 school with just 200 students amass enough food to fill the cabin of a large tractor?

Turns out they didn’t have to do it alone.

About 45 Grade 7-12 students, staying overnight at the school Thursday as part of their 24-hour famine, hung plastic bags on the front doors of houses in Nobleford, inviting the community to fill the bags with non-perishable food items and leave them out for pickup by the students the next day, said Taylor Holtorf, president of the student council.

“The response we got from that was amazing,” Holtorf said. “It’s an awesome feeling!”

Student council came up with the idea and invited older students to go without food for 24 hours, while elementary students could opt to skip lunch. The idea was to give students an appreciation for those who regularly go hungry. Some of the high school students even played softball during the fast.

“I would like to take credit, but the credit goes to our school leaders,” said Principal Kathy Oviatt.

Adding to the community feel, a handful of students from Picture Butte High School accompanied by Candace Reurink made the trip to Nobleford with bags of donations as well. The donations go to the foodbank operated by the North County Interfaith Outreach Society, located in Picture Butte. PBHS students will hold their own 30-hour famine and community food drive later this week.

Elaine Martin, who serves on the society board, watched Friday as an assembly line of students moved bag after bag of goods to a waiting truck and school bus for final delivery to the food bank.

“This isn’t the first time this year,” she said. “The school had a big food drive at Christmas. It’s amazing coming from this community.”

To end their 24-hour famine, students were treated to a pancake breakfast organized by parents. The tractor was donated by Nieboer Farm Supplies. Palliser Regional Schools Vice-Chair Don Zech attended. He graduated from Noble Central and was later its principal. It was an all-out Nobleford effort.

“Our community and school pulled together really well,” said Noble Central teacher Justin Harper, who helped student council organize the event with help from colleague Kristen Dow.

For Grade 12 student Holtorf, the event exceeded every expection.

“I wanted to step up and do something big and I can leave knowing I did something to contribute to Noble Central School,” she said. “No matter what we put our minds to, we’re capable of doing it.”


Amazing showing by young poets

Young poets from Noble Central School performed well at their first Can You Hear Me Now? poetry slam in Calgary April 17-18.

The competition featured 14 schools from Calgary and Edmonton, with Noble Central being the lone rural team at the event, said teacher and coach Desiree Lamb.

Student Kayla Cole finished second and she and teammate Hayden O’Brien both received votes for the Students’ Choice award.

The slam featured students performing poems of over two minutes, but less than 3:09. The students aren’t allowed costumes, props or singing. It’s just the poet and their original creation.

A panel of five judges provided the official score out of 10, but the audience could weigh in by snapping their fingers during presentations to indicate they liked something the poet said. Clapping is reserved for the end of the poem and booing disagreement with judges’ scoring is also allowed.

Rounding out NCS Slam Team were Jess Fudge, Kyle Gurr and Kelton Schlamp.

Volunteers needed for this week's playground build

A five-year student-initiated journey at Noble Central School will culminate with a three-day community effort to build a new playground this Thursday through Saturday, April 30 through May 2.

About $112,000 was raised through grants and fundraisers. With gifts in kind, the school has amassed about $130,000 to build a new playground for the school which serves about 200 students from early learning and kindergarten through Grade 12.

The playground project was initiated by the 2010-2011 Grade 6 students as part of an action research project in Social Studies. The students, now in Grade 10, surveyed students about what school issue needed to be addressed. The playground project emerged as the key need. The next year’s Grade 6 students, now in Grade 9, then began the daunting task of fundraising.

The final push will see volunteers from community groups and companies helping at the site, providing everything from equipment and manual labour to lunches for workers. The school still needs adult volunteers for any of the three days. If you’re able to help, please call the school in advance at 403-824-2817 to register as a volunteer.