Aprende Middle School is a 'Cool School'

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The power of many is more than the power of one. That’s the important lesson learned by a small group of students at Aprende Middle School in Tempe.

The Native American Club has about 30 students. They set out a goal to collect 500 books to donate to an elementary school on the Salt River Indian Reservation.  After reaching out to their classmates and other schools in the Kyrene School District, they collected 2,225 books.

"It feels awesome to get more than what we expected," said one student. They'll deliver the much-needed reading materials this week to the elementary school students.

“I'm very proud of our community for helping us out. We didn't expect to get the response we did,” said Traci Klett, the sponsor for the Native American Club. “It's been amazing and I think it's good for the kids to see the community cares and they're supporting us,” she added.

The successful book drive is just one of the reasons why 3TV chose Aprende Middle School as a “Cool School.”  Each week, 3TV features good things happening on campuses across the Valley.

Aprende also put health and fitness first, beginning with its teachers and staff.  It's all part of the Kyrene School District's "Win on Wellness Program.”

Educators get health tips from a coach to maintain, not gain, during the holiday season.

“We're exercising in the morning before school, we do weekly weigh-ins, emails, encouragement. It just makes us one big happy family,” said Aprende teacher, Heather Staudohar.

At the end of 12 weeks, everyone involved in the district-wide program will do a weigh-in for the Biggest Loser Challenge. The winners will get prizes, and perhaps even a bigger deal, bragging rights.