Teenager leads project to donate 1,000 trophies to Dallas ISD schools

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A teenager and his younger sister have spearheaded a project that has donated 1,000 trophies to 10 Dallas ISD schools to reward students for everything from academics to athletics.

Adam Klein, now a high school student, was cleaning out his room in 2013 when he decided it was time to get rid of his seven trophies. After some brainstorming, he reached out to a few Dallas ISD schools to see if they would be interested in them. The response was much more enthusiastic than expected, and he decided to collect more trophies to donate as his Bar Mitzvah project.

Fast-forward to this year, and Adam and his younger sister, Debbie, donated 300 additional trophies to three schools on Monday, Feb. 13. This brings the total to 1,000 trophies donated to 10 Dallas ISD schools.

“Getting a trophy is a way to show you are appreciated and recognized for working hard,” said Angela Klein, the mom of Adam and Debbie. “Some kids in Dallas might have way too many trophies, while other kids might not have any trophies at all. This project helps level the playing field a little.”

Debbie and Adam Klein

The Kleins have to refurbish some of the trophies—they recently removed a figurine doing karate on a two-foot tall tae kwon do trophy, for example—and encourage the schools to cleverly repurpose the majority of sports trophies. For example, teachers can reuse a soccer trophy to reward a student for “meeting a goal.”

“We had no idea this would take off like it has,” Angela said. “It’s been a great project.”

The Klein family has donated trophies to these Dallas ISD schools:

  • T.G. Terry Elementary School
  • Birdie Alexander Elementary School
  • Maple Lawn Elementary School
  • Martha Turner Reilly Elementary School
  • James Madison High School
  • George Washington Carver Creative Arts Learning Center
  • Henry W. Longfellow Career Exploration Academy
  • C.M. Soto Jr. Elementary School
  • Cesar Chavez Learning Center
  • Mark Twain Elementary School
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