Russellville Middle School students were jumping for joy after they collected more than 200 cans of food and got to test their teachers' jumping skills in an enjoyable effort to provide for those in need this winter.
The canned food drive was a project to benefit the Russellville Mobile Food Pantry.
Students were allowed to wear a hat in class if they contributed a can of food, and some students brought in more.
Math teacher Stacy Strobel said the idea began as something fun for the students to do before Christmas break. The school's National Junior Honor Society members volunteer at the food pantry. The drive offered a good opportunity to contribute food in addition to the students' time and efforts.
"It's always good for them to come together doing something fun within our school building," Strobel said. "We can also do something that is helpful outside of our confines and always be mindful of others in our community that need help as well."
The real excitement came after the more than 200 cans were amassed.
Each class voted on a teacher whose door they barricaded with stacks of cans. The students decided how to construct their barricade to strategically make the hurdles more difficult for the teachers to leap over.
If the teacher could not hurdle the cans, the students were awarded one day off from that teacher's class.
The seventh- and eighth-grade classes elected to challenge Strobel, and the sixth-grade class challenged science teacher Tom Backes. Strobel attempted to leap over the eighth-grade barricade but tipped one of the cans off the stack, to the ecstatic applause of her students.
"I almost made it," Strobel said. "I had enough height; I just didn't have enough distance. But it was exciting to see the kids get into it. Whatever gets them excited is always fun."
The sixth- and seventh-grade classes' barricades were too challenging for the teachers to even attempt, so Strobel and Backes just knocked them over.
Strobel said the drive was such a great success, it might become a school tradition.