LAYTON -- Enormous grins adorned the faces of students at Lincoln Elementary School as they vigorously beat upon drums.
The activity was a reward for the students' efforts collecting used footwear for the program "Give Bullying the Boot."
Over a period of three weeks, students were asked to donate used shoes -- usable or not. Students brought shoes for recycling or donation to those in need through a partnership with two organizations: Excuse Me While I Change the World and Safe to Talk Foundation.
Many students went to their friends, neighbors and relatives, asking for used shoes to donate to the cause.
Their hard work paid off with thousands of shoes weighing a total of 3,407 pounds.
Principal Chris Whitaker explained that the shoe drive began with an introductory assembly at which students witnessed the Drum Bus but were not allowed to play the drums.
The renovated school bus is self-described as a "mobile-music classroom" and holds dozens of world percussion instruments.
Students were motivated to collect shoes by the promise of a return visit from the Drum Bus, when every student would be given the opportunity to play one of the large and colorful drums.
However, the students were also made aware of the importance of helping those in need.
"It's not about the parties, it's about helping people get shoes," said Maddy Jensen, 11.
"We had to do a lot of work getting all the shoes," said Alexa Elguea, 10.
Rise Timpke, a sixth-grade teacher, said the shoe drive was something every student could participate in regardless of their financial situation at home.
"If they had an old, ratty pair of shoes, they felt like they could contribute in that way ... They were very enthusiastic to participate in something that would benefit others," she said.
Tuesday's presentation from the Drum Bus was the reward for all of their efforts. The drums and percussion instruments were set up in a large circle in the school's activity center, and classes rotated through the 40-minute presentation throughout the day.
The visit may have appeared to be all fun and games, but organizers also made an effort to share an anti-bullying message with students in conjunction with their musical presentation.
"It gives them the chance to play the drums and play rhythmic patterns as they all work together and support each other," said Whitaker, as she explained the anti-bullying messages the presentation provided.
Alisa Rivera, the school's counselor, said the Drum Bus demonstration also supported the lessons she has been sharing with students throughout the school year.
She said she has taught students how to deal with bullying if they are a bystander or a victim, and even how to recognize bullying in their own actions.
Rivera said the funds raised by collecting the shoes will continue to be used throughout the school year to support anti-bullying activities.