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Grimshaw Third-Grader Helping Her Friends and Community

On Sept. 27, Grimshaw Elementary third-grader Rylee Andersen was featured on News Channel 9 thanks to her selfless work in support of the “Backpack Buddies” project.

Rylee was inspired by a feature on the television show “Little Big Shots,” whereby a young man sought to help his community by providing backpacks full of food to those in need. If it worked for that community, what might Rylee be able to do to help the LaFayette community, in turn?

After consulting with her then-second grade teacher Mrs. Kolbeck, Rylee approached Grimshaw principal Jennifer Crowley about doing something to help students and families in need, and out of this collaboration, Backpack Buddies was born. Why the name “Backpack Buddies?”

“Because by donating supplies, we’re helping our friends,” according to Rylee.

Beginning in the final week of this past school year and continuing through the summer, students, teachers, and generous families collected supplies and pooled them in boxes located throughout Grimshaw. As the new school year kicked off, many families sent students back to school with extra supplies to be donated to the program as well, and the results were stunning. After all of the pencils, markers, erasers, glue sticks (and more!) were tallied up, over 40 backpacks were stuffed with supplies and provided to grateful members of the community who needed them the most.

All of this from a very caring young lady, who was looking for nothing more than a way to help her community, and her friends.

Rylee sits among donated supplies

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