As the holiday season approaches, APS students are giving back to the community. Here are just some of the ways schools have contributed to charitable causes.
Oakridge Elementary’s school-wide Pennies for Patients service project collected change for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). All students attended an assembly to learn about the project, collected money and practiced counting it, and honored the work of LLS with special dress-up days.
Each year Ashlawn‘s SCA sponsors Cereal Mountain. The SCA collects cereal to donate to A-SPAN and AFAC and throughout the week builds a mountain out of the donated cereal. These boxes are distributed to those in need through AFAC and donated to A-SPAN’s shelter to serve breakfast. This year Ashlawn’s goal was to collect 750 boxes. The Ashlawn community went above and beyond and donated 841 boxes to help feed Arlington residents in need of food.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Claremont Immersion School PTA sponsored The Giving Tree Project. Claremont students, parents, staff and community came together to provide coats, books and gifts to more than 76 Claremont families and 125 students and siblings. This year, the PTA Giving Tree Project has expanded to include food, toiletries, gently used clothing and household basic needs. Over 300 Giving Tree “leaves” were sponsored in less than a week. The overwhelming response and support from the Claremont community made this the most successful Giving Tree Project to date.
Eighth grade Kenmore English teacher Judy Freeman and Check-in coordinator Milagros Martinez partnered together to provide lunches for the homeless men and women affiliated with A-SPAN. Students in Freeman’s class created designs and wrote inspirational poetry on lunch bags and students in the check-in program filled the bags with nutritious food. The bags are then given to A-SPAN for distribution to the homeless men and women in Arlington. The program runs from December to May and supports the homeless students.
Thanks to sixth grade math teacher Lolita Pollard, 20 seventh and eighth grade students volunteered to help sixth graders with math after school on a weekly basis. Pollard asked for volunteers, matched students who need help with students offering support and created a weekly schedule.
The Kenmore Future Business Leaders of America, under the direction of business and information technology teacher Jureen Benjamin and Check-in students, sponsored two holiday food drives. School Resource Officer and Principal David McBride delivered 24 boxes of food to 24 grateful Kenmore families before Thanksgiving. Food collected between Thanksgiving and Christmas will be donated to AFAC.
It has been a tradition at Taylor to donate gifts for children in foster care. This year, the goal was to provide 150 gifts for Arlington County foster children through the Taylor Giving Tree. The gifts will be distributed at the annual holiday party in the foster care home, along with baked goods provided by Taylor families. Also in the spirit of giving, the SCA is collecting winter clothing for children at an area shelter. The Girls on the Run team raised $200 for the Animal Welfare League with a staff breakfast as one of their community service projects. In addition, team members are helping teachers after school and are running a clothing and book drive for local families.
H-B Woodlawn students recently collected boxes of supplies for homeless people in the Arlington community. Students collected 40 shoe boxes stuffed with supplies including a handwritten note in each box. The activity was organized by teacher Leigh Buckley Altice.
McKinley’s Light up the Holidays helps local families and children in need by making their holidays brighter. In addition to the school’s immediate community, staff and students provide gifts and gift cards for children and families identified by the Children’s National Medical Center and Bridges to Independence. Each gift tag on the bulletin board contains an item requested by a family or child here in our area; new, unwrapped items are then placed in donation boxes and were delivered Dec. 16.
This season, Nottingham’s Girls on the Run Team chose to champion food allergies for their community service project. They chose this cause to demonstrate support for their fellow teammate who is currently enrolled in a promising clinical trial focused on a treatment that would prevent life-threatening allergic reactions to peanuts. Together, these girls stood up for many members of their community with food allergies and showed that little people can do big things by raising awareness and over $1,300 in funds for FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education). Check out their team page here.
For the past eight years, students at Tuckahoe have been Trick or Treating for Unicef and have cumulatively raised more than $12,000. This year, 186 students voluntarily took Unicef boxes with them as they trick-or-treated, in order to collect donations that would be used to provide children around the world with vaccines, clean water, food, and medicine. Students in Kim Dinardo’s third grade class collected and counted the money which was quite a task, but a great way to integrate math computational skills with real world math application and discussions of how to be a global citizen.