Children and chocolate are not often parted, but this time it is the children trying to get grown-ups to purchase chocolate for a different reason.

In an effort to raise funds to help them participate in a once-a-year camp experience, fifth graders from Gilbert Elementary School will carry a small box full of chocolate bars around with them in addition to their school book bag this year.

However, community members are also urged to come by the school and purchase the candy bars from the office, helping students that way.

The chocolate bar options include roasted California almonds in milk chocolate; premium milk chocolate; milk chocolate with crisped rice; milk chocolate with creamy caramel; and, dark chocolate. The bars are being sold for $1 each.

Camp costs can be prohibitive to a family already on a tight budget. Students attending a Title 1 school already have an economic challenge that oftentimes prevents participation in such a costly endeavor. Thus, selling chocolate is one way to help raise those funds to help.

The end-of-year camping event takes pre-planning and pre-selling in order to fund the Ten Mile Tennessee Camp experience before the end of the school year. Thus, the reason for the chocolate candy bar sale, which helps each student pay their own way.

According to Gilbert principal Beth Pelham, each child needs to sell about two boxes of the candy in order to pay for their participation in the camp outing experience. And, Pelham hopes the community will support the students in this effort, just as they did last year.

Jan Morris is assistant editor for the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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