Picture of Ruckel MS Veterans Day

Ruckel MS Connects with Community

The month of November was a time for students at Ruckel Middle School to connect with their community.  At the beginning of the month, the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) spearheaded 2 service projects for the community. The first project was the annual food drive for our local food pantry, Sharing and Caring.  With over 2,243 cans collected, the school was able to give the local pantry a boost needed before the busy holiday season.  The NJHS also joined in on a project to provide sleeping mats for the homeless.  Students made PLARN (plastic yarn) that will be used to crochet waterproof mats. These mats take over 700 plastic bags and 300 man hours to complete.   

But aiding their community was not limited to the food drive, Ruckel students and staff helped the Okaloosa County Sherriff Office’s “Coats for Kids” campaign.  The school was instrumental in helping the Sherriff’s goal of 1,000 coats county-wide by collecting 491 coats.

Ruckel also honored the military in their community on November 9th, when it celebrated Veterans’ Day with over 60 service members both active duty and retired. Members from all 5 branches of the military were represented.  These service men and women were treated to a breakfast provided by the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) and local businesses and music by the chorus and band.  After the traditional “Patriot Walk” (the procession of the military guests through the school halls to the applause of students and staff alike) , the entire school joined in the gym to listen to the keynote speaker, Col. Robert Kirila (Ret) of the 7th Special Forces Group.  Col. Kirila spoke to the audience about the high cost of Freedom.  Later, each classroom was visited by a service member and in some cases more than one, who spoke of their experiences in the military and the role education played.  This is the 8th year that the school has honored its’ veterans this way.