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DeLeon honored with best Early Act First Knight program

May 5, 2012 at 12:05 a.m.

The DeLeon Elementary School Early Act First Knight program was named the best program in the country. With the DeLeon program are, left to right, John Evans, Fair Oaks Rotary Club; Cass Garcia; Randall Parr; back row: Leslie Huehlefeld, Kristan Hunt and Yvonne Baraza; front row students, Leslie Hartman, Areanna Ozuna and Grace Hunt.

DeLeon Elementary School was honored as having the best Early Act First Knight program out of 60 programs in three states.

Seven people represented the school at the third annual convention in Boerne on April 21.

"It was a no-brainer. One hundred percent, those kids - they had a really amazing thing going on," said program founder Randall Parr.

The program teaches kids pillars of behavior, like responsibility, service and confidence. It's sponsored by area Rotary Clubs.

As part of its international service component of the program, DeLeon students organized a donation drive for Saint Isabel's Children's Charity in Angola, Africa. The charity is an orphanage that also runs a network of schools that reach about 4,500 children.

Students sent 56 large crates full of school supplies, toiletries, toys, shoes, clothes and cleaning supplies, which were delivered by Nalco Company, which has a large business base in Angola.

The husband of Leslie Huehlefeld, program sponsor at DeLeon, works with Nalco, which has also donated a vehicle to the orphanage and pledged to give it $2,500 a month.

Students were able to see a video of African students thanking them for the delivery to the orphanage.

They "demonstrated not only international service and a creative service, but a creative use of resources, partnering together with Nalco," Parr said. "It was a life-changing thing."

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