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Kids These Days…

Stephanie Ford, RMS Teacher & Guest Writer

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“Kids these days!” We’ve all heard this statement that portrays that of a younger generation who is lazy, selfish, narcissistic, entitled, and who is continually rewarded for minimal accomplishments with the “everybody wins” participation trophy mentality in all areas of life. “Kids these days” are often seen as those who want to take the easy way out and expect to reap the rewards of hard work and labor- without putting in the time, dedication, or labor to earn these benefits.

However, at Reidland Middle School the phrase “Kids these days” takes on a whole new meaning! If any kid in today’s society could represent hard work, selflessness, and dedication, Peter Ervin, an 8th grader at RMS, would be that kid! From November 27 to December 14, Reidland Middle School’s student council promoted Paducah Power’s annual food drive to help local families in need during the Christmas season. When Peter Ervin learned about his community’s need for food, he took on a mission to collect items with a vengeance!

Young Mr. Ervin took it upon himself to go door-to-door within his neighborhood and neighborhoods nearby to personally collect over 400 canned food items with his own intrinsic drive, labor, and motivation. Each morning of the food drive, he would proudly walk through the school doors with a smile on his face, carrying a duffle bag full of canned food items, the straps digging deeply into his shoulders, and a feeling of pure joy as he carefully placed the food items into the bin. “How many did you collect this time?!” his peers would ask with bulging eyes as they watched him carry what looked like a bag full of bricks each morning.

Fortunately for Mr. Jeff Gentry’s eighth-grade social studies class, Peter’s efforts earned them the title of Canned Food Drive Class Winner. This meant that they won a pizza party sponsored by Papa John’s pizza, but it was more than that to Peter. When asked what made him want to go door-to-door to collect so many food items for families that he doesn’t even know, Peter simply answered, ”I saw the opportunity to help others in need, and I took that opportunity seriously. I wanted to make a difference and help others. It was never about winning the pizza party; it was about helping others when they need it most.” He also wanted to make sure that he thanked the families that donated the food items that he collected!

“In today’s society, it’s nice to see a kid go door-to-door to collect items out of the goodness of his heart to help others. We see so many kids selling fundraisers or asking for things that will benefit themselves, but we rarely see kids working so hard for selfless reasons like Peter did,” Mr. Gentry added.

Of course, his first-period class was very excited to receive the Papa John’s pizza party, but they were motivated as well. “It was inspiring to see him work so hard, and it made us realize that we can actually make a difference in the lives of others if we put in the work,” commented Cameron Ison, student council president.

“He did a great thing for our community, and I’m proud of him!” Riley Kulik, a student at RMS, pitched in.

Peter has been such an inspiration to the teachers and students of RMS, and if “kids these days” represents any kid like Peter Ervin, then we have nothing to worry about when it comes to our next generation of leaders!

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