Joseph Whiteside of Alton Middle School and Kenna Gray of North Elementary were named Students of the Month for September by the Alton Area Optimist Club.
The Alton Area Optimist Club gives a $25 gift card to the student as well as a $25 donation to a nonprofit organization of the student’s choice.
Joseph, son of Daniel and Theresa Whiteside of Alton, is an eighth-grade student at Alton Middle School in the Field Summit House. He exhibits all of the characteristics of an Optimist. Joseph models good character and is an extremely respectful and poised young man. Joseph has earned the trust of both peers and AMS staff as he is responsible, consistently kind, often uplifting and always prepared to learn. He is very active in sports and clubs and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society. He is also a proud member of Drama Club Cares, which collects monetary donations to support families in need. In his personal life, he is a member of his church youth band and volunteers at church events such as the back-to-school teacher luncheon. His outstanding characteristics make him a leader among his peers and an excellent citizen.
Kenna Gray, daughter of Amber Gray of Alton, is a fifth-grader at North Elementary School. She chose Justice for her gift card and St. Louis Children’s Hospital for her donation. Kenna is an amazing young lady who exemplifies the characteristics of what it means to see the good in everything. She has earned numerous awards, including Honor Roll, Super Reader Award and the Principal’s Award. She is active in school life through her participation in Accelerated Reader, Young Authors, 5th Grade Chorus and she is also a PE helper. Her favorite subjects are history and reading. She has previously volunteered at a homeless shelter and is part of a swim team for the disabled in St. Charles, Mo. Kenna is a true picture of grace and a role model for other North Elementary students.
The Alton Area Optimist Club is a youth-oriented community service organization that has been in existence for more than 60 years in the Riverbend area. The Alton Area Optimist club sponsors various youth sports teams, supports Boys and Girls Scouts, participates in the Rock Springs Celebration of Lights, Memorial Day Parade, and supports school activities such as poster contests and the Elementary and Middle School Students of the Month. The club also is a yearly sponsor of the 1st Responder Recognition Dinner. Its biggest activity is the bestowing of college or trade school scholarships to high school students each year.