Teens hope can drive will keep principal out of office

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© Richard Gillard/Acorn Newspapers
The Adolfo Camarillo High School chapter of the National Honor Society is in a competition with Pacifica High School to collect the most canned goods for FOOD Share, an Oxnard-based food pantry that serves West Ventura County. © Richard Gillard/Acorn Newspapers
Adolfo Camarillo High School Principal Glenn Lipman may find himself working in the hallway outside his office if his students get their way.

The National Honor Society is hosting a canned food drive dubbed “Can the Principal.” During the drive, students will collect cans of food to donate to FOOD Share, an Oxnard-based food bank, in an attempt to fill the principal’s office floor to ceiling with cans.

If the students succeed, they’ll force Lipman out of the office so he’ll have to finish the workday in the hall.

Angelica Chavez, NHS adviser and U.S. History teacher, said the drive’s name is a play on words so students will have fun donating cans.

“At our school our principal is really loved, and it makes it more like a game,” Chavez said. “The kids get excited. Even though they’re high school kids, they’re young at heart.”

Students have been collecting cans since Jan. 24. The drive continues until Mon., Feb. 28. The homeroom class to donate the most cans will win a breakfast party.

“Our goal is to have the National

Honor Society make a difference in the school and the community,” said 15-year-old Becky Mayper, NHS committee leader.

In addition to the “Can the Principal” drive, ACHS students will use the same cans to compete in the countywide Tackle Hunger Super Bowl food drive hosted by FOOD Share.

The high school that collects the most food will win a pizza party and a school visit from professional National Football League players. Depending on schedules, Bear Pascoe from the New York Giants and Greg Estandia from the Cleveland Browns might visit.

So far, ACHS and Pacifica High School are the two campuses competing.

FOOD Share’s goal is to raise 25,000 pounds of food to distribute to the more than 73,000 people they provide for each month in Ventura County. Spring is usually a slow time for donations because residents tend to put charity on the back burner after the holidays, said Karen Jensen, FOOD Share event coordinator.

“We’re just hoping to promote awareness within the community and bring in more food to help our friends in need,” Jensen said. “Having the youth involved in advocacy will continue and strengthen the future of FOOD Share.”

Megan Friedlander, NHS club president, said she also believes high school students should get involved in the community. She hopes the can drives will spark a commitment to helping others in their own backyard, she said.

“It’s a good idea to give kids a purpose and a higher meaning,” said Megan, 16. “They learn the morals of helping people in need. I really do want to make the students realize that if we unite we have combined power and we can influence our community. Everybody in the community should help each other. We all need to give each other somebody to lean on.”

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