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Honor society gives back to elementary school

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The Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society teamed up with the Hammond Kiwanis Club and Chili’s of Hammond to provide 80 students at Woodland Park Elementary Magnet School with “Blessings in a Backpack.”
“Blessings in a Backpack” is a nationwide service movement in which an individual adopts a school to give students who are on the Federal Free and Reduced Meal Program nourishment during the weekend. The backpacks are filled with snacks and meals each weekend and prevent students from suffering of weekend hunger.
Linda Munchausen, Kappa Delta Pi president, was one of 14 national recipients to receive the 2012 literacy grant from Phi Kappa Phi. After receiving the grant, she and Kappa Delta Pi decided to participate in “Blessings in a Backpack” and adopted Woodland Park Elementary Magnet School.  Nicki Anzelmo-Skelton, associate professor of the Teaching and Learning Department served as the sponsor for Kappa Delta Pi and aided Munchausen in the project.   
“Poverty affects a child’s physical, social and academic well-being,” said Munchausen in an article on The By Lion. “When children, especially young children, experience poverty, they are at great risk for difficulties throughout life.”
The backpacks include foods such as granola bars, tuna, crackers, cereal and juice boxes that are kid-friendly, nutritious, non-perishable and easy-to-prepare.
Munchausen explained the Southeastern collaboration allowed her to take the program further with the addition of new books to the backpacks and the possibility to serve 160 students by January 2013.
According to the website, students who are aided by the “Blessings in a Backpack” program advance in school attendance, test scores, behavior and health.
Chili’s provided support for the program through their “Give Back Night,” which was held on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. With a mention of Kappa Delta Pi or “Blessings in a Backpack” while ordering, customers were able to contribute to the cause. A copy of their receipt was made and used toward the total amount of receipts billed for a 10 percent donation.
“We have done numerous Give Back Nights and enjoy giving back to the community,” said Mathew Rousseau, Chili’s manager. “When someone orders and mentions the non-profit organizations, we keep a copy of the receipts and add all the receipts together. At the end of the night we take 10 percent of the receipts. So even if it’s $3,000, we’ll donate $300.”
He explained the organization had much support and several customers had mentioned the project or society throughout the day.
“This morning I had a $300 to-go order for it, so I know that the word is out,” added Rousseau.
For more information on the program or ways to become involved, visit

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