Earlier this fall, the Middle School held a food drive to benefit the Country Pantry of Clark Mills. When it was all said and done, our advisory had collected zero items. We simply forgot to bring in food. As a group we were frustrated with ourselves. The students decided that they would do something to participate anyway. I thought they would probably decide to simply bring in food and I would deliver it. I was touched, inspired, and humbled with what they did next. The kids organized their own food drive. They sent out letters to families participating in the December music concert, decorated food boxes, and collected and brought in an additional 121 food items. Then the kids wanted to do more so we contacted the Pantry and asked if we could volunteer when the food was delivered. So on Tuesday February 24th our advisory (and Mr. Cucci) delivered our donated items and worked to help with distribution. In just 90 minutes, these ten students packaged more than 100 bags of produce, counted and sorted items in the center, stocked and restocked shelves of canned goods, and packaged more than 200 bags of toilet paper. The volunteers at the Pantry actually ran out of jobs for our students to do, they had never imagined that the kids would work so hard and accomplish so much.
I am a lucky person. As a music teacher, I get lots of opportunities to see our kids really shine. I will never forget this time with my students at the Country Pantry. I could not be more proud of them. Perhaps the most rewarding part of the day came when the students asked when we could go back and work again. Seeing my students grow as caring and compassionate human beings....this is why I teach.