Drive teaches services at Banfield

Published 7:41 am Friday, December 2, 2016

By Jeff Roland

Banfield Elementary principal

For the past seven years, the entire student population at Banfield Elementary School has taken part in a service learning project shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday break.

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This year, starting on Dec. 5, Banfield students will take part in our annual food drive for the holidays. Students will bring in non-perishable food items and personal care products donated by family, friends and relatives. Our Student Council officers and representatives will organize, publicize, collect, sort and stack, count and tally, weigh and finally pack the donated items during the six-day project. They will report back to each classroom on how many items they brought in that day, in addition to the classroom total.

Jeff Roland, Banfield Elementary principal

Jeff Roland, Banfield Elementary principal

The donated items are stacked in our main hallway and serves as a daily reminder to keep bringing in items. Classrooms even have good-natured contests to see which room can bring in the most. In order to make this project successful, students need to use their reading, writing and math skills in order to record, document and report back to classrooms on their progress.  Students are learning as they participate in the food drive.

But there is also another learning side to the project. We are not merely collecting food, but rather we are collecting food for people in our community. And sometimes, unfortunately, for people in our schools. Throughout the year, we have an outstanding cadre of volunteers who come into Banfield every Friday morning and pack the Angel Food Backpacks. These backpacks go home with our students filled with food for the weekend. For the past several years, we have supplemented our backpacks with food donated from the holiday food drive.  Our families are helping our families, students are helping our students, as well as the community at large. Students can see the impact their participation in the food drive is having in their own school community.

They learn that they can make a positive difference in their own community; even being six to 10 years of age.