Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/939624

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 25, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Spirit

By David Hotle | Dec 19, 2012
Adam Miller, right, kisses a llama owned by Gary Murphy during an assembly at Stewart School Tuesday afternoon. The kiss was part of a reward for a successful food drive.

On Tuesday, Stewart Elementary principal Adam Miller got to live high on the hog – and the llama – while also getting to show his pride in the Stewart students who surpassed everyone’s expectations during a recent food drive.
When the goal for a month-long drive to raise 300 cans of food was announced Nov. 14, the reward for getting the number of food items would be that Miller would kiss a pig. Excited at the prospect of the principal and the pig resonated with the students so much they had 300 cans inside the first week. The goal was raised to 900 cans, with the added reward that Miller would kiss a llama if the students met that goal. When the end date of the drive ended last Friday, over 1,000 cans of food had been raised. On Tuesday, Miller puckered up to give the students their reward.
“I was more worried about the llama at first, but I think the pig ended up being worse than the llama,” Miller said. “It was just a fun time.”
Miller said that he was proud of the students for the turnout at the food drive. He said it was great to see the students all pull together to reach a common goal.
Kelsey Sievers, behavior interventionist and volunteer coordinator at Stewart elementary, who planned the drive, said this was the first year for the event. Miller said that Sievers had given him a list of possible rewards for the students, and he had chosen kissing a pig and a llama. Another possible reward would have been duct-taping Miller to a wall.
“I think anything that has to do with Adam doing something fun (the students) get pumped up about,” Sievers said.
“They all involved public humiliation for myself,” Miller said with a laugh. “I chose that one because I thought the kids would really like it and it was a lot of fun. That was the idea.”
Sievers smiled a little when she said that she didn’t remember if she had gotten Miller’s OK before offering him to kiss the llama. She said that she believes Miller has “reached his limit” kissing animals and said he may pass the responsibility on to someone else.
The food will go to the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP) for harvest boxes. Sievers said that the students’ character pillar this month is citizenship and she felt the drive would be a way for the children could be good citizens.
Neither Sievers or Miller know what they will do to top the food drive next year.
“We are going to have to think of some good stuff for sure,” Sievers said.

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