COLORADO SPRINGS — The impact a teacher can have on a student goes beyond the classroom, which is especially true for one local teacher in Colorado Springs. Carla Moore, teaches 5th grade at Scott Elementary and four years ago, she organized the school's backpack program.
She began the program because she learned that one in six children in the Pike's Peak region goes home hungry every day. To lower that statistic, every Friday morning, her and a group of her 5th grade students go the extra mile by filling boxes with food like canned goods, pasta, and peanut butter.
"We look at the child as a whole, so social and emotional learning and we knew that we had a need for students to receive food," said Moore, and when asked why she does it, she said, "the kids, I mean it's that simple. We do it for the kids."
The group fills about 15 boxes of food which helps feed about 30 kids over the weekend. Her students are more than happy to help because they know a small donation of their time can make a big impact.
"I think about it as a good way to help out the community of all the kids who don't have enough to eat," said Landon Beck, a 5th grader. "It makes me feel good because I enjoy helping out and it always make me have a smile on my face when I see a kid who's happy and not hungry."
Her students also say the backpack program is just one way she goes above and beyond the call of duty.
"I feel like she's very sweet for doing this whole program. She's very helpful and she puts a smile on everybody's face," said Isley Tillman, another 5th grade student.
"I think she is an amazing teacher, not just inside of the classroom but out," said Ava Arnould. "I think it's amazing that she decided to do this whole thing because it something that she went out of her way to spend her time doing and it made a lot of families have food to come home with."
Moore was recently recognized by the Mountain West College Football Conference for her efforts, where she received $1,000 to go toward the program.
"It was a complete surprise," said Moore. "I work with some of the best people and i was nominated unknowingly and I walked out of my school and they greeted me with balloons and flowers."
In years past, the program has also helped kids get Thanksgiving meals and Christmas presents.
"I've had people in tears thanking me and I've had people tell me they really didn't know where their next meal is coming from," said Moore. "They didn't have dinner that night and it's an unimaginable feeling for us."