Jets ‘give back’ during homecoming parade

MADISON – Students at James Clemens High School again are creatively transforming their homecoming parade into a way to help people in need and to give back to the community.

Since 2016, James Clemens sponsors and students have substituted traditional homecoming floats that required expensive decorations with parade entries to collect donations for charitable organizations.

On Sept. 13, parade lineup with start at 4 p.m. at Heritage Elementary School. The parade will proceed south from Heritage on County Line Road to the James Clemens campus. The parade will start at 5:30 p.m.

“Students decided to continue the tradition of doing something meaningful rather than building traditional floats with no purpose beyond the parade,” math teacher and SGA sponsor Melanie Turner said.

“We wanted to put something out there that we’re proud to put the James Clemens name on but also be responsible with our resources,” Turner said. “‘What if we used our time and resources to do something to help others and give back to the community?’ That fit. That is what James Clemens is all about.”

The seniors’ theme, “School the Panthers,” will use a float with a schoolhouse for their recipient, Free2Teach, a supply center for teachers. James Clemens juniors have created “Ruff up the Panthers” to represent Madison Animal Rescue Foundation or MARF.

Sophomores are building a “Purchase the Panthers” float to symbolize money they’re collecting for Make-A-Wish Foundation. The freshmen’s float, “Roll the Panthers,” will motivate donors to roll in contributions for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“Students have amassed large donations already as they prepared the floats,” Turner said. “Students will continue to accept donations during the parade. Students will walk in the parade with donation buckets so community residents can donate as they enjoy the festivities.”

The entire school has embraced the challenge. Teachers are conducting contests for the most donations. Beta Club is collecting nonperishable and canned food for Manna House. Competition cheerleaders are gathering school supplies for Royal Families Kids Camp – Foster Care.

James Clemens’ media specialists will help Student 2 Student or S2S. Various groups are raising money for St. Jude with a Color Run on November 17. Junior Civitans are collecting for Give Back Charities.

A shuttle at James Clemens auditorium will transport parade participants to the Heritage campus from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. Parents should not drop off students at Heritage, and no park will be allowed at Heritage.

For the 2018 homecoming game, the James Clemens Jets will face the Huntsville High School Panthers on Sept. 14 in Madison City Schools Stadium at 7 p.m. The Homecoming Dance on Sept. 15 will run from 8 to 11 p.m. on campus.

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