Students "dodge" hunger with a dodge ball tournament

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-A group of Region 8 students are working to help community members "dodge" hunger.

Several students in the E.A.S.T. class at Jonesboro High School are holding a "Dodge Hunger" dodgeball tournament.

Participants of the tournament are being asked to bring either five canned goods or five dollars as their entrance fee.

These donations will go to the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas.

Senior Greg Munoz says this all started with a simple idea.

"One day we were having PBIS, which is an awards ceremony at JHS, and on that same day we were having a dodgeball tournament...and we ended up putting it together."

Senior Keithen Power says since they first came up with the idea, it has taken off!

"We originally thought it would be amongst the school itself, you know, the student body," Power said. "And then, we sent word out to the other schools and they got back to us and said they'd love to do it."

A number of elementary schools and junior high schools have responded.

E.A.S.T. Facilitator Dominique Battles says these young students get a lot out of participating in a project like this.

"This shows them how important it is to help out the community and it gives them a sense of responsibility," Battles said. "It also allow parents and teachers to know how much work they really are doing if we just don't pressure them and let them come up with their own ideas. "

Battles says since he began working in the E.A.S.T. class he's discovered just how much these young people can accomplish.

"I have tons of kids who are doing all kinds of projects to help out the community," Battles said. "Some are working on stuff to help those overseas, some are working on helping those in school, and some are doing a lot to just help the Jonesboro community. It's amazing. I never knew what E.A.S.T. was before I became the E.A.S.T. Facilitator and it's just been the best experience that I could have and the kids have all these opportunities and all the tools to help do so much more than people think they can."

The students responsible for putting this tournament together are very proud of what they're getting to do.

Senior Matt Brandon said, "This makes me really happy because I know we're helping people and that's what it's all about."

Power seemed just as excited as Brandon. "It's a great feeling that it's our project and that we made it and we're in charge of it and that our idea has grown so much to help the community this way," he said.  "It's a great feeling."

Battles said every project the students work on is their idea, their work.

All he provides is encouragement and, sometimes, a little direction.

Brandon says he plans to continue to be involved in community projects, even after he leaves high schooL.

"People need to get active and stay involved in the community," he said. "This is not the first thing I've done and I'm going to stay involved and keep helping people."

Each dodgeball team is composed of six players.

The gentlemen in this E.A.S.T. class are extending invitations to any grades at any schools that would like to come out and have a good time while helping others in need.

The tournament will take place on February 4th at noon at the Jonesboro High School Gym.

The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas serves more than 5,000 people in 12 counties each week.

For more information about E.A.S.T lab, log onto their website.

To check out Jonesboro High School, click onto this website.

For information about the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, log onto their site.

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