JOLLY TIME popcorn celebrates 100 years with Kernels of Kindness

May 15, 2014
Current Dewitt Elementary playground
Photo Credit: Jessica Urgelles 

Hearing children laugh on a playground is one of the happiest sounds;  you can hear squeals of joy as they slide down a twisty slide or giggles of laughter as they swing higher. They aren’t heard often enough on the Dewitt Elementary School playground because the meager playground can’t accomodate more than a class at a time, and it is still crowded. 

When the weather is clear it can take over 20 minutes to drive from Dewitt Elementary School to the nearest community playground, and residents that live in more isolated areas of the community have a much longer drive. This isn’t uncommon in rural parts of Appalachia; residents living in some of the “hollers” can take 45 minutes or longer just to get into town. Times are tough and gas is expensive, trips into the city and the city’s park aren’t always possible.  

Principal Marcella Walker
Photo Credit: Jessica Urgelles 

The principal at Dewitt Elementary, Marcella Walker, hopes to change that for the community residents and students. She is diligently working with faculty, staff, parents, and community leaders to ensure her “children” have a place to play. The proposed community playground will be publicly available to local residents and will serve more than just the 211 students who attend Dewitt Elementary School. 

Mrs. Walker begins the day by greeting her students with a smile as they enter the school. She encourages her teachers, handles disciplinary matters, and supervises the day-to-day function of the school. She has a very busy schedule and yet makes time to help supervise the school’s fundraising efforts.

Mrs. Marcella Walker and staff at a fundraiser
Photo Credit: Jessica Urgelles 

Mrs. Walker said, “I just want the students at Dewitt Elementary to have the same opportunities as other children.”  There numerous physical and social benefits to playgrounds. Childhood obesity is on the rise, and playgrounds are a great way to help children stay active. Free play is also an integral part of learning social skills. Attributes such as patience, conflict resolution, and even citizenship can be acquired on a playground interacting with peers. A new playground would benefit her students in so many ways. 

How do you measure the dedication of a Principal? Mrs. Walker is devoted to promoting well being and happiness in her students. The annual median household income in the area is just $22,000, and yet the school has managed to raise just over $8,000 in the past year, due in part to the encouragement and supervision of Mrs. Walker. She and her teachers have held a soup bean dinner, sold donuts, held a live auction, and hosted a restaurant fundraiser, all of which is a testament to their dedication. 

This is why I have chosen to nominate the principal of Dewitt Elementary School, Marcella Walker, in the JOLLY TIME Kernels of Kindness campaign. She could use the grant to help fund the much needed playground renovations. 

Photo Credit: JOLLY TIME 

Do you know someone who brings happiness and joy to a community: Is there an individual that goes above and beyond to promote kindness? JOLLY TIME wants to known about individuals and organizations like them.

Many people celebrate birthdays by receiving presents, but JOLLY TIME popcorn wants to give them. In honor of their 100th birthday JOLLY TIME has launched the Kernels of Kindness campaign: They want to give 100 grants worth $1000 each to deserving individuals and organizations to celebrate their birthday. You can visit the their website to learn more and to nominate an individual or organization. A panel of judges will ultimately select 100 winners from the nominations. 

I shared my nomination and their story, and now I want to know who would you nominate and why? You could be entered to win a $50 JOLLY TIME prize pack full of goodies and a $100 Amazon gift card, you just leave a comment on this blog post telling us who you would nominate and why, and then record your entry in the Rafflecopter widget below. There are several ways to earn bonus entries.

Help celebrate the birthday of JOLLY TIME popcorn by spreading the word about the Kernels of KIndness campaign, and nominating someone who demonstrates kindness.

Please take a second to visit JOLLY TIME on their social channels. Maybe you could wish them a Happy Birthday and make a nomination? 

Disclaimer: I received financial compensation for this post, all opinions and thoughts contained herein are entirely my own.

Happy Thoughtful Thursday and Happy Birthday JOLLY TIME,

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