Seventh graders are fighting homelessness and smashing a world record. By thinking outside the box, they created the world’s largest cardboard box mosaic, using almost 4000 cereal packages donated to a shelter

School Districts are Sharing Methods for Engaging StudentsThe Francis Parker School students lined the gym floor with boxes of Quaker Puffed Rice in the shape of a red heart, which was set against a blue backdrop of Puffed Wheat.  The design was 2,213.22 square feet, which beat the previous record of 250.62 square feet,by a longshot. Boxes of cereal were then sent to Interfaith Community Services.

Most of a weekend was spent building the box, and it took over a year to plan.  It was the idea of Kenan Pala, a seventh grader who was inspired by people he saw at the beach caring for an injured seal.  He wondered if people would take similar interest in human beings.

“We thought, what if that was a homeless person?” asked Kenan, 12. “Would they still help out? So that led me to the idea of raising awareness about homelessness. People tend to care about animals, but don’t care about their own kind.”

Kenan decided that organizing a food drive while setting a world record could direct attention to the problem as well as help some families.

“It’s a fun process,” he said. “If you get in the book, it’s good advertising.”

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