Every week, a group of eight to nine fourth graders at Florence Mattison Elementary meet together to talk about how to be gentlemen, practice manners and develop life skills.

Teacher Matt Coatney said for the month of December the bunch, who are called the Mattison Men, focused on service and giving back to those people who have helped them, including the community as a whole.

"We made a big list of what we could do and we came up with the food drive," he said.

From Dec. 4-15, the young men hosted a food drive for the CAPCA (Community Action Program for Central Arkansas) Food Pantry.

Coatney said when within in a week they had around 400-500 canned and nonperishable items. He said that honestly all he expected.

By the end though, the school had collected more than 1,300 total items for CAPCA.

"[The Mattison Men] were super excited," Coatney said .

The group, he said, would go by each classroom every day, collect the items, bring them to Coatney's room, count them and then box them up.

Throughout the process, he said the group felt the impact but even more so when they were able to sit down and discuss the significance of the amount.

"I think it really made them feel good that they kind of had a hand in bringing in [the items]," Coatney said.

He said watching the students during the food drive, he thinks that they learned the importance of helping others in need and giving of themselves — the students had to give up recess to meet at times — each one eager to help.

"All these boys are more than willing," Coatney said. "They wanted to come every morning."

He said never once did he have to ask the students to do their part but they made sure to do what they were supposed to do the entire time.

As the teacher, he said he was surprised to see the everyone jump on board their cause.

"It was just amazing to see our school community come together and provide this food for [those] in need," Coatney said.

He said he thinks the food drive will continue to motivate the group of fourth boys and and keep them eager to serve others.

Coatney said he created the Mattison Men after he saw at the school to provide more male students with male mentorship roles and serve them from a male perspective.

He said he can see the impact the meetings have had on the students, how they carry themselves differently and the maturity they've gained, asking themselves how they can be better.

"[I'm] definitely proud of the boys and impressed with everything they did throughout the drive," Coatney said.

CAPCA, he said, came to the school Dec. 19 and picked up the items.

"It was a lot of boxes and cans," Coatney said, laughing.

He said CAPCA thanked them for what they collected and were grateful for the efforts of Florence Mattison and the Mattison Men.

Every week, a group of eight to nine fourth graders at Florence Mattison Elementary meet together to talk about how to be gentlemen, practice manners and develop life skills.
Teacher Matt Coatney said for the month of December the bunch, who are called the Mattison Men, focused on service and giving back to those people who have helped them, including the community as a whole.
"We made a big list of what we could do and we came up with the food drive," he said.
From Dec. 4-15, the young men hosted a food drive for the CAPCA (Community Action Program for Central Arkansas) Food Pantry.  
Coatney said when within in a week they had around 400-500 canned and nonperishable items. He said that honestly all he expected.
By the end though, the school had collected more than 1,300 total items for CAPCA.
"[The Mattison Men] were super excited," Coatney said .
The group, he said, would go by each classroom every day, collect the items, bring them to Coatney's room, count them and then box them up.
Throughout the process, he said the group felt the impact but even more so when they were able to sit down and discuss the significance of the amount.
"I think it really made them feel good that they kind of had a hand in bringing in [the items]," Coatney said.
He said watching the students during the food drive, he thinks that they learned the importance of helping others in need and giving of themselves — the students had to give up recess to meet at times — each one eager to help.
"All these boys are more than willing," Coatney said. "They wanted to come every morning."
He said never once did he have to ask the students to do their part but they made sure to do what they were supposed to do the entire time.
As the teacher, he said he was surprised to see the everyone jump on board their cause.
"It was just amazing to see our school community come together and provide this food for [those] in need," Coatney said.
He said he thinks the food drive will continue to motivate the group of fourth boys and and keep them eager to serve others.
Coatney said he created the Mattison Men after he saw at the school to provide more male students with male mentorship roles and serve them from a male perspective.
He said he can see the impact the meetings have had on the students, how they carry themselves differently and the maturity they've gained, asking themselves how they can be better.
"[I'm] definitely proud of the boys and impressed with everything they did throughout the drive," Coatney said.
CAPCA, he said, came to the school Dec. 19 and picked up the items.
"It was a lot of boxes and cans," Coatney said, laughing.
He said CAPCA thanked them for what they collected and were grateful for the efforts of Florence Mattison and the Mattison Men.