Little Smiles and ACES team up for kids in need

Jupiter High’s Little Smiles club and the Athletic Community Education program are joining forces for children in need during the holiday season. 

Little Smiles is a school organization based around helping students gain community service hours by helping children faced with devastating circumstances such as terminal illness, abandonment, and other trauma. They help these children through donations. They treat kids with gifts and fun activities.

“The purpose of Little Smiles is to help students get community service hours while helping their community,” Magnolia Lang, club president, said. “Members will have various opportunities throughout the year to receive community service hours.”

While Little Smiles is based on community service, ACES is a school program that helps give student athletes leadership skills.

“The purpose of the ACES program is to provide student athletes with leadership skills on and off the playing field,” Gianna Grieco, student leader of ACES, said. “ACES’ overall goal is to  educate on how to be a leader to the student athletes.

The activity is a toy drive that will begin on Nov 16. Little Smiles will place toy boxes in five classrooms to collect donations. Each donation will grant the participating student a community service hour.

“The two clubs are going to work together on a toy drive for kids in hospitals,” Ericka Muncy, Little Smiles sponsor, said. “They’ll be collecting toys, and there will be boxes around campus. Through their donations students can get community service hours.”

ACES sponsor Kimberly Jalm created the partnership. She wanted to give her student athletes an opportunity to participate in community service, and she thought this was the perfect way for her club members to get involved.

“I wanted a way for student athletes to do more than help with only athletics based activities,” Jalm said. “This gives the students a way to give back to another group that is not as fortunate as they are.”

As of now, there are no plans for a future team up, but members from both sides have said they would be open to another partnership to give back to the community.

“I’m hoping they continue their partnership,” Muncy said. “Little Smiles is definitely open to it, and I know Ms. Jalm is open to it, but it’s really up to the kids if they want to stick to that partnership.”