Clinton County schools hosted its second annual district-wide pep rally Tuesday at the Clinton County High School.
With all students and faculty filing into Lindle Castle Gymnasium, enthusiasm was high and Bulldog Pride was definitely felt among those attending.
Last year, Superintendent Charlotte Bernard used the pep rally as a way to communicate to all students at one time. With the success of last year’s event, Bernard decided to host the second annual event in order to allow a sense of pride to be carried from the rally.
“I think the second annual pep rally was a huge success. We had a variety of different speakers each with their own message about what being a Bulldog means to them,” Bernard said. “My goal for the pep rally every year is to remind students and staff to take pride in themselves, their school, and their community.”
When students took their seats, all of the high school athletes were on the floor, including the JROTC and the high school band. The band led off with the “Star Spangled Banner,” while the Bulldog Battalion Color Guard presented the colors.
After that, Bulldog Basketball Head Coach Todd Messer took the microphone and quickly sent the entire gym audience into the popular chant … “WE ARE BULLDOGS.”
The students, regardless of age, responded well to the yelling and chanting and Bernard believes it’s good for the student body to get together in this kind of atmosphere.
“Students do respond well and I think they carry the underlying message with them throughout the school year,” Bernard said. “I saw more school pride as a result of our first pep rally. Students throughout the year would chant at sporting events WE ARE…..BULLDOGS. I think it brings a unifying feeling to our district and makes everyone feel a sense of pride.”
With the popularity of this year’s pep rally, Bernard said she thinks the pep rally will continue and become a tradition at Clinton County.
“Yes, we will continue and every year change it so that it is not the same program, but each time having the same underlying message for students that creates a positive and unifying culture for our district,” Bernard said.
Bernard said she enjoys being a part of something big like the district wide pep rally and thinks it gives the students a chance to see her and become more familiar with her role in the Clinton County School District.
“I think it is very important for students to have an opportunity to interact with me in a relaxed environment,” Bernard said. “Also, it gives me the opportunity to show students and staff that I am very proud to be superintendent in Clinton County and that my number one priority is the students and their education.
During the presentations by several speakers during the rally, the high school announced a program, put on by seniors and coordinator Melissa Tallent, that deals with hungry kids in Clinton County.
“No Kid Hungry” is somewhat the brain child of Tallent’s and what started as a class project, quickly turned into a district wide project led by several seniors in the Class of 2014.
The project is a drive, of sorts, to help provide food to those in need. The project is set up to assist those who need it in Clinton County.
Tallent said the event was very humbling and before now, she didn’t realize there was a need like this in Clinton County.
“The greatest thing is what ever funds we raise, stays right here in the community,” Tallent said. “When I talked to Ms. Bernard and Ms. Gina Poore about it, we decided it would be great for the whole community to do.”
Bernard said this project is going to help a lot of people.
“We decided to introduce it during the pep rally and bring community awareness,” Bernard said. “The idea behind the campaign is to work within Clinton County to prevent having students in our community hungry.”
Students who are apart of the group collecting funds and items for hungry kids will be wearing orange shirts that say “Ask me why I’m wearing orange.” Tallent said the shirts will promote awareness throughout the community.
One of the reasons for promoting the “No Kid Hungry” project was because, on the day of the rally, it was National No Kid Hungry Day.
“Our fundraiser was called ‘Coins for Kids’ and people just brought coins and on that day, just the small change that comes out of their pockets, we raised $672,” Tallent said. “It was amazing.”
Next week, a more in-depth article on “No Kid Hungry” and what the group of students have planned for upcoming months will appear in the Clinton County News.
“I just can’t explain what I’ve gotten out of it and what these kids have gotten out of it already,” Tallent said. “Tuesday, at the pep rally, was the best day I’ve ever had teaching. I have never been more proud of a group of kids in my whole entire life because it was coming from their heart.”