Gentry Middle School students made a big impact in the lives of special needs children with little wooden cars Friday.
Seventh grade students took part in a pinewood derby Friday morning at the middle school. The teams of students, which consisted of three children per team, got parents, friends, family members and others in the community to sponsor their cars.
Through the sponsorships, more than $4,000 was raised for Victory Junction Camp, a camp which caters to the needs of children with chronic medical conditions and serious illness. Victory Junction is located in Randleman and provides an environment filled with fun but conducive to a child’s medical needs.
Campers attend Victory Junction at no cost, according to the camp’s website. However, it wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of people dedicated to making a difference.
The derby, which was made possible through a “bright ideas” grant from Surry Yadkin Electric Membership Corp., is about both raising money for a good cause and learning.
“At a glance, it seems that this is just an event where students race pinewood cars, but actually, it goes much deeper,” said Principal Brandon Whitaker. “Students have been studying the concept of sustainable communities and learning from guest speakers, lab experiments, research, and writing.”
Additionally, the curriculum surrounding the event included instruction regarding the laws of motion and physics and understanding statistical information, according to a statement from Surry County Schools.
This year’s derby also featured cars made by various members of the armed forces. The local service members from the national guard, army and air force competed against the students.
At the end of the event, “A-Team” members Isaac Riggs, Jessica Shelnutt, and Brady Sizemore were crowned as this year’s champions.
Other fanfare surrounding the derby included Isaac reading his version of Judith Viorst’s, “If I Were in Charge of the World.” In his poem, he expressed his desire to change the world from his perspective.
Mattie Creed shared her essay, “The Power of One,” where she emphasized that through donations of clothes, time, or kind words, all can make a difference in sustaining our community and beyond.