Kincheloe fourth and fifth grade volunteers close in on 400 food itemsPublished 10:31am Thursday, December 17, 2009
By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News
Fourth and fifth grade Kincheloe Elementary School volunteers approached 400 items Wednesday collected in a red sled during their first schoolwide food drive Dec. 7-18.
Fourth-year teacher Sarah Posey has organized toy drives in the past, but this was her first of what she hopes to make an annual event.
“I came up with the idea of having a food drive and they took it” and ran with it, Posey said Wednesday. “It’s a new experience for me.”
“We had to do a whole bunch of planning,” fifth grader Blake Slabaugh explains in a weary voice.
Actually, brainstorming volunteers were also tasked with getting permission, creating promotional posters to hang in the media center, making phone calls to local food banks, writing and making announcements and following a schedule.
Blake said they undertook the project in November, right after Thanksgiving break.
Tuesday it fell to Blake to contact St. John’s Lutheran Church, which is distributing ood they collected to families. They made their first delivery Dec. 15.
Leading up to that call, Blake wrote a script Posey typed.
“He came up with a plan of what he would say when he called,” she said. “Then we sat down and role played until he was comfortable enough to make the phone call, and he did a beautiful job with that. The other place we called was the Apostolic Lighthouse on M-62 West. I’m dropping off the rest on Friday” when the drive ends.
As of late Wednesday morning, the number chalked on their board was 390 food items.
“We used a sled” to collect the food, said fifth grader Austin Shafer.
Students credited the teacher with that idea.
“A friend of mine at another school district said they used a Radio Flyer wagon,” Posey said. “I wasn’t sure where I could find one on such short notice, so I thought a red sled would be something fun to go along with the holidays.”
“It was full yesterday morning,” Blake said.
While the project turned out to be more work than they imagined, Blake said they learned they “can show compassion to others. That’s our theme for this month in school.”
Posey explained, “Our counselor puts together a life skill each month” incorporated into morning announcements.
“They’re proud, and I’m proud of them, too,” Posey said. “I think we all enjoyed it. This is only our second week and kids are still bringing in items until Friday.”