San Tan Charter School Collects and Donates Over 2,000 Boxes of Cereal

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Contact:  Kristofer Sippel

CEO/Superintendent of Schools

San Tan Charter School Inc.



San Tan Charter School Collects and Donates Over 2,000 Boxes of Cereal to House of Refuge

Students from San Tan Charter School Organized the Cereal Drive From Start to Finish, Including Giving Speeches in Every Classroom about House of Refuge, Distributing 600 Paper Grocery Bags and Hosting an Assembly

GILBERT, Arizona—Thanks to the hard work and dedication of a group of students from San Tan Charter School – along with the generosity of the entire San Tan community – 2,184 boxes of cereal were recently collected and donated to House of Refuge.

As Holly Witte, a self-contained gifted first and second grade combo teacher at San Tan Charter School noted, students handled all of the work needed to organize and host the school-wide cereal drive.

“To educate and inform the rest of the school about the House of Refuge and the cereal drive, the students researched the nonprofit organization to answer the questions ‘how, what, who, and why,’” Witte said, adding that the students then worked together to write speeches to present to each class in the school.

“The students collected over 600 paper grocery bags to attach student-made flyers to send home with each student in the school to spread the word the drive. They also collected over 30 large boxes to serve as cereal collection boxes.”

Teachers and staff from San Tan first learned about House of Refuge and the work they do providing transitional housing to families who are experiencing homelessness, when they volunteered at the nonprofit last fall.

“We had such an incredible experience there, we wanted to do more for them, so we asked them what they needed, and they told us they always need cereal,” Witte said.

Carol Berhost, a first through third grade lead teacher at San Tan’s Montessori elementary program, collaborated with Witte on the project.

“We wanted to build a bridge between our programs. When Holly mentioned a cereal drive, my class and I were eager to join her,” she said, adding that the San Tan students were immediately sympathetic and enthusiastic about the idea of the cereal drive.

“Our students were saddened to hear many kids just like them don’t get breakfast or lunch during the summer because they depend on school for those meals,” Berhost said.

“We mentioned a prize for the class who brought in the most boxes of cereal.  However, during and after the drive, our students didn’t ask about the prize. That is probably what Ms. Witte and I are most proud of.”

At the conclusion of the cereal drive, the students hosted a school wide assembly, where they presented the 2,000-plus boxes of cereal to Jacqueline Cruz, Chief Development Officer at House of Refuge.

As Kayla Kolar, President and CEO of House of Refuge explained, the  cereal will go into the nonprofit’s food pantry that provides food to the families that live in House of Refuge’s 88 homes.

“In addition, our food pantry is available to anyone in the community. Anyone who is in need of food can come to our donation center and we will provide them with food bags for their family, no questions asked. The cereal received by San Tan Charter School may be included in these community bags as well,” Kolar said.

Cruz said she, Kolar and everyone at House of Refuge are incredibly honored and grateful to have been chosen by San Tan Charter School as the recipient of their cereal drive donation.

“It is a testament to the generosity and compassion of the students, staff, and community. We are thrilled to be able to provide nutritious breakfast options to those in need and make a positive impact on the lives of families facing homelessness,” Cruz said.


***ADDITIONAL PHOTOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST***For more information about San Tan Charter School’s cereal drive to benefit House of Refuge, please contact Kris Sippel at 480-222-0811. For more information about House of Refuge, please visit


About San Tan Charter School:

San Tan Charter School is a Kinder-12th grade public non-profit tuition free charter school with two campuses in the East Valley within minutes of each other. The Power campus is a Junior High/High School serving students in grades 7-12 and the Recker campus is an elementary school serving students K-6 including a private Montessori preschool and K-6 tuition free Montessori classrooms. The school uses a Love and Logic® approach to classroom management that is focused on building relationships and communicating with respect. The school focuses on “Education with a Purpose,” which means the teachers encourage their students’ love of learning, which enables them to face challenges and develop critical thinking skills. San Tan Charter School also offers a championship athletics experience 5th through 12th grade and PE daily K-6. San Tan Charter School is focused on maximizing each student’s intellectual development with a Gifted program K-12, Honors/AP classes, Concurrent/Dual Enrollment classes and elective choices including career and technical education (CTE)-Culinary and Aviation as well as the opportunity for Juniors and Seniors to attend EVIT half day. For more information, please visit