Trying to make a difference, one ornament at a time

Superintendent’s Spotlight: Jillian Disy, Warwick Valley Middle School

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  • Provided photo Jillian Disy and her com created more than 100 ornaments, that sold at the Middle School PTA Craft Fair. She raised $375, money which she donated to the Backpack Snack Attack program.

— Jillian Disy says that one day she’d like to be an engineer. She’s not sure what kind of engineer, but she knows she likes to create things and solve problems.

Right now she’s in seventh grade at Warwick Valley Middle School, and she became aware of a problem. Some students, she said, don’t have enough food to eat. During the week they can get breakfast and lunch at school, but on weekends they might have to skip meals.

Part of the solution is the Backpack Snack Attack, which discreetly sends backpacks filled with snacks and food home with needy students. It’s an outreach program of the Warwick Reformed Church, and it feeds nearly 300 local school children in the Warwick, Florida, and Greenwood Lake school districts. Individually sized, ready-to-eat food items are sent home with children on Friday, and the backpacks are returned to the school nurse on Monday.

The program relies on donations and fund raising to keep those backpacks filled. This is where Jillian saw an opportunity, and she got busy.

Jillian decided that her favorite holiday - Christmas - would be her inspiration, and she began making ornaments. Lots and lots of ornaments. With some help from her mom she made more than 100, filling simple clear balls with drops of paint and creating a bright, magical effect.

Jillian sold her ornaments at the Middle School PTA Craft Fair. At $6 each they went fast, she said.

“People really liked them,” she said. “I made a sign about Snack Attack and we had fliers so people would know we were raising money.”

By the end of the event Jillian had raised an impressive $375.

“I hope that it helps everybody that needs a backpack to get one,” said Jillian. “I hope they get even more.”

Each week, Warwick Valley School District Superintendent Dr. David Leach shines the “The Superintendent’s Spotlight” on one of Warwick Valley’s students. “Superintendent’s Spotlight” features students who reach goals, face challenges and are role models to their peers.

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