Four weeks of students competing against each other in such activities as collecting food and clothing culminated May 21 with a carnival, marking a successful end to the first-ever Team Kids Challenge at a Fullerton school.
Team Kids is an Irvine-based non-profit that runs youth-led school- and community-based service programs that are based on prevention research from the Search Institute to promote positive outcomes for kids, while preventing high-risk behaviors.
Rolling Hills Elementary became the first school in Fullerton to partner up with Team Kids, which has been running programs at schools since 2001. The Team Kids Challenge was held in partnership with the Fullerton Police and Fullerton Fire departments, with all of the proceeds benefiting research into cystic fibrosis.
“The kids did a great job today – it was awesome seeing a lot of them having a lot of fun raising money for cystic fibrosis,” Fullerton PD Capt. Scott Rudisil said. “Team Kids is a great leadership program. The kids are serving their community, and we’re just glad to be part of it.
“The firemen did a great job, too,” Rudisil added. “They brought their trucks out and the kids enjoyed seeing them. This is a great partnership with our fire buddies.”
The Team Kids Challenge aims to make students more aware of real-world issues such as homelessness and hunger, and make them more conscious about safety and the environment. The program mobilizes all students as passionate advocates to address these critical community issues.
During the four weeks at Rolling Hills, Fullerton police officers and firefighters visited the students to serve as mentors to challenge the students in service.
“Our staff was so excited about this pilot program and the opportunity to expand to more schools in Fullerton,” said Julie Hudash, founder and CEO of Team Kids.
“The kids surpassed all of their challenge goals each week, and they spent a whole month choosing a charity and becoming philanthropists, entrepreneurs and business persons.
“Most importantly,” Hudash added, “our kids were challenged to serve by their community heroes in police and fire. Now they’re all going to be aware to make good choices not just for themselves but for others, too.”