Reprinted from the Tucson Citizen, January 1, 2008                   

After collecting thousands of diapers, students in Elizabeth Rodriguez-Quihuis’ fourth-grade class at Davis Bilingual Learning Center are headed to “High School Musical On Tour” on Wednesday.

The kids collected 8,750 diapers for the Southern Arizona Community Diaper Bank, winning a contest sponsored by radio station MIX-FM, Disney and Broadway in Tucson. For their effort, they won 30 tickets for opening night and a backstage meet-and-greet with the actors.

“They were all cheering,” student teacher Jessica Gale, 22, said of the students when they learned they had won. “It was very cute.”

Gale heard about the contest on the radio and inspired the 24 kids to collect diapers with the hope of winning the tickets. She also asked members of her Chi Omega sorority at the University of Arizona to pitch in.

“I knew my kids loved ‘High School Musical.’ The girls, and the guys are into it, too,” Gale said.

Gale said it also was important for kids at Davis, 500 W. St. Mary’s Road, to be involved in giving back to the community. Kirsten Grabo, executive director at the diaper bank, said 16 schools collected thousands of diapers in the competition, including Collier Elementary, which donated about 8,000.
The final tally is still out, she said.

The television versions of “High School Musical” and “High School Musical 2” broke records in numbers of viewers and CDs sold. The stage production is based on Disney’s hit movie targeted at tweens and teens. When East High basketball star Troy and brainiac Gabriella try out for the annual high school musical, they incur the wrath of the school’s drama club stars, Sharpay and her twin brother, Ryan. But they persevere, and the rest is history.

The show runs at the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall through Sunday.

From Tucson Citizen, January 1, 2008