Rock, Paper, Scissors -- and 205 pounds of food

WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- Many schools hold food donation drives during the holiday season.

But a Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament, too? That may be Northside Middle School’s alone.

A few years ago, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lexington Two middle school’s student leadership team launched the tournament, in combination with the annual holiday food drive, to boost donations and have some fun while keeping a safe distance. The event was so popular, Northside has held the tournaments ever since.

“Our students are always generous, but this competition definitely helps drive donations and keeps students interested in contributing to the drive,” said Northside media specialist Shelley Breedlove, who works with the National Junior Honor Society to help coordinate the event.

Students who bring in two non-perishable food items for the donation drive are entered into the tournament. The tournament spans two days, starting first with classroom contests, with winners moving on the next day to the championship. After a mighty battle, with National Junior Honor Society members cheering on the competitors, science teacher Kendrick Kerr emerged victorious in the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament, along with champions of the day:  3rd place winner, Tanner Ray (sixth grade); and 2nd place winners Braden Gunnells (eighth grade) and Laken Machino (seventh grade).

Northside collected about 205 pounds of food for the Cayce Cares Project during this year’s donation drive, held November 1-18.

“Events like this are important, because of the sense of community they foster as we teach our kids about showing kindness and grace to others, especially during this holiday season,” Breedlove said.  “They also build a sense of school pride, sportsmanship, and belonging in our students.”