GREENSBORO, N.C. – You expect your child's teacher to educate your children about reading, writing, math and science. However, some teachers, like Foust Elementary School teacher Paul Travers, also try to teach life-lessons.
Travers realized his students cannot always count on a healthy meal at home. So, he came up with a big idea to help them.
"I had a very difficult time learning when I was in elementary school…learning to read and decode words. The struggle stuck with me until I got to high school. Then, I was able to overcome those obstacles," Travers said. It's part of the reason Travers decided to become a teacher.
Now, Travers has made it his mission to teach his students how to improve their academic abilities and their lives.
"Knowing their struggles, knowing what they go through just makes me want to be that more of an example and role model for them," Travers said.
Last week, he was especially worried about his students when cold weather canceled school.
"When they eat....a lot of my kids speak of eating fast foods. They're not necessarily worried about the nutritional value they're receiving from their food," Travers said.
95 percent of the students at Foust Elementary School receive free or reduced lunch.
"It's humbling. It's revealing to see these students that still come to school every day, still want to learn, still want to succeed, but yet, they don't have the means. It's very humbling. It just drives that passion to get through to these kids that much more," Travers said.
Instead of just talking about the issue, Travers decided to take action. He is organizing a 5K and food drive to help his students.
"Educating them on the nutritional value and helping them understand the importance of fitness is going to be something they can take with them for the rest of their life," Travers said.
Students are collecting food to help themselves and their classmates.
"It just shocked me to find out the number of students who actually need it. It drove a hunger into me to reach out to them," Travers said.
Students are going to sort all the food they collect by nutritional value. Then, they're going put it into bags and give the food to anyone in the school who needs it. The 5K run this weekend is part of the plan to teach the students about the importance of staying active.
The Falcon 5K for Hunger is Saturday, February 8 at 9:30 a.m.
You can register here: https://www.falcon5kforhunger.webconnex.com/falcon5kforhunger
Hunger is a problem at schools all over the Triad:
* More than 57 percent of Guilford County Schools students are on free or reduced lunch
* More than 56 percent of Alamance-Burlington Schools students are on free or reduced lunch
* More than 55 percent of Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools students are on free or reduced lunch