Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Thanksgiving is an important holiday to talk about and study in class. In our class we research the history of the holiday, make paper turkeys, write sentences and paragraphs about why we are grateful for the bounty we have in our lives. This year, our 6-9 class focused on the “giving” of Thanksgiving.
Each month our school has a “Casual Day”. Elementary and Secondary students do not have to wear the usual uniform. This year we have implemented a program where each class gets to choose a cause or a charity and those who wish to dress “casually” donate to that cause. When our class was asked to choose a cause for November, it was easy to make a choice. We decided to collect food for All Faith’s Food Bank in our town.
Our third year students formed committees and divided the types of food they expected to collect into different categories. They decided on “Pasta, Soups, Meat and Fish, Fruits and Veggies, and Miscellaneous.” The five third year students put together a flyer which went home to the families in our school.
We decided that we would collect food for one week. Each morning students stood outside our classroom with their handmade signs during “Drop off” time. The first day did not yield any items and the students were disappointed. We pointed out that it was a good day for reminding everyone about our Food Drive and tomorrow things would surely pick up.
The next day the food started to come in. The committees collected the cans, bags, and boxes of items that fit their categories. They organized the items, made lists of what types and quantities of food they collected, they boxed the food up and by the end of the week we had collected 343 items!
There were discussions about which category some items would fall into. Would barley go with the pasta group or miscellaneous? Do we count a six pack of tuna as one item or as six? Are tomatoes a fruit or a vegetable? Is juice a fruit or is it in the miscellaneous category? Can we keep the box of chocolate chip cookies?
Students worked together cooperatively to answer these questions and box up the food. On the Monday before Thanksgiving we loaded it onto the school bus and then traveled to the All Faith’s Food Bank to deliver our bounty. We were greeted by the volunteers who worked at the food bank. Jill, a registered dietician gave us a tour of the warehouse.
We found out that we collected 372 pounds of food. One pound of food feeds a person for a day. The students were able to get on the scale and we found out that they weighed 949 pounds! We were able to help sort the food we brought to the food bank. We checked the dates on the can and then put a line through the bar code. We sorted the cans into the appropriate boxes.
Students walked up and down the aisles and learned what types of food were needed. We walked into the “cold rooms.” In the first room it was 44 degrees, that is where they keep fresh fruit and veggies. Next we went into the dairy room which was about 32 degrees. Finally we entered the meat room which was 11 degrees. That was where they keep the turkeys and other types of meat they have collected.
The students had a great learning experience and walked away feeling proud that they were able to help other families and children in our community.
Remember, Thanksgiving is a time for being grateful for your blessings and a time to give to help your community!