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Pirtle Dance Team Earns ‘Grand Champion Giving Back Award’

Members of the Pirtle Elementary Dance Team learned for a second time this week that, despite being young, they can make a difference.

That difference came in the form of earning a $250 donation on Saturday for Project HEARTBEAT, an organization that provides services to Belton ISD students who are homeless or in foster care.

Earlier this year, the 80-member team of first-, second- and third-grade students collected new socks and underwear to donate to Project HEARTBEAT. The team entered their service project with the American Dance/Drill Team to compete for the Giving Back Award. They won their regional competition in February, which qualified them to contend for the national award.

On Saturday, the team was announced as winners of the Grand Champion Giving Back Award, beating out other dance teams from middle and high schools and dance studios.

“I wanted the kids to participate in this because I wanted them to understand that no matter how young they are, they can make a difference in this world,” said Amy Martinson, one of four Pirtle teachers who volunteer with the after school dance program. “Of all the awards this team has won, this one is the best because it benefits others.” 

The award, sponsored by, comes with a $250 donation to further support Project HEARTBEAT.

Project HEARTBEAT coordinator Christina Wilson said it was like Christmas when she learned of the donation. The money will be used to purchase gas cards that will help homeless students get to medical appointments.

“I am always impressed when young children learn the value of helping those less fortunate,” she said. “We are truly blessed that our teachers use these kinds of opportunities to teach our students the value of caring for each other.”

April 1, 2021