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Belgrade elementary student organizes 'cereal knock-down challenge' for HRDC

Posted at 12:32 PM, May 15, 2023

BELGRADE — Last year, Jameson Parks, a then-first grader at Ridgeview Elementary School in Belgrade saw a video of a cereal knock down challenge, where everyone brings in cereal boxes, lines them up like dominos, and watches them fall, celebrating at the end—knowing those boxes were all going to be donated to families in need after.

Jameson loved the idea so much, he wanted to bring this kind of giving to HRDC’s Gallatin Valley Food Bank. And he was successful.

"He came to me and asked if we could do that here at Ridgeview. We said absolutely, let's give it a try,” said Ridgeview Elementary Principal Mat Johnston. “Last year we had 520 cereal boxes. The food bank said it would last about two weeks, which was shocking to me, feeding about 30 people. So, this year we challenged the students to bring in more than that."

This year, just over 460 kindergarten through 4th-grade students brought in 883 cereal box donations.

One by one, the boxes fell, eliciting gasps from the students when they needed readjusting.

When asked what he wanted to say to those who donated, Jameson replied, "Thanks for helping bring cereal boxes. This will help feed a lot of families."

Nearly 900 fallen boxes later, the gymnasium erupted in cheers.

Jameson, now eight years old in second grade, tells MTN News he hopes to do the fundraiser throughout his time at Ridgeview. His goal for next year is 1,000 cereal boxes.

And the principal added that he hopes this will be an annual donation drive for decades to come.