Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A group of Columbus Elementary School fifth graders double checks the list to see what items they still need to find to complete their food box.  The shopping day was the culmination of a project to fund and create holiday food boxes for Project Hope.Fifth graders line up at the IGA check-out to purchase the items they have chosen for their food boxes. Manager Denise Caton did the honors.

A lesson in giving

The spirit of giving was alive and well at elementary schools across the county during the holiday season.

The fifth graders from Columbus Elementary School learned that to give is just as rewarding as to receive.
It all began with an idea from fifth grade teachers Tom Kurtz and Nicole Means.
Before winter break, many students will bring their teachers gifts for the holidays. This year, though, Kurtz and Means decided to put a twist on this tradition. Instead of gifts, the teachers asked that students bring money donations that could benefit the Project Hope food bank.
The money was pooled together, along with donations from the teachers themselves, and a lesson in giving was born.
Rather than simply handing the money over to Project Hope, Kurtz and Means grabbed the opportunity to turn the project into a scholastic lesson, as well as a life lesson.
A list of items included in a Project Hope food box was compiled by the teachers, along with the prices charged for each item at the local grocery store. The students were then tasked with a math problem – how many boxes would they be able to fill with the money they had raised, based on the local prices?
The answer: 12 boxes.
After doing the mathematical work, the students had the opportunity to work on a couple more skills — budgeting and grocery shopping. The kids took a trip down the street to the IGA to purchase the items for the food boxes.
After being split into groups, the students cruised the isles, working together to find the items needed to complete their lists such as milk, pies, and potatoes.
Once each item was checked off, a lesson about counting change took place at the counter as they paid for their own food.
The food boxes from CES received a special touch – handmade cards and ornaments made by the fifth graders to wish the recipients a happy holiday.
The boxes, along with the leftover money, were given to Project Hope. The 12 food boxes from the elementary school joined almost 80 additional food boxes that were distributed by Project Hope before Christmas.
CES principal Marlene Deis applauded the food box project, saying it was great to observe and take part in, for the teachers and the students.

The students of Rapelje Elementary School also learned a lesson in giving this year.
The kindergarten, first, and second grade students raised over $300, through cookie sales, for their “Adopt a Child” project.
This money was used to buy gifts for four children from Stillwater County.