J.V. Forrestal Students learn reading, writing, arithmetic, and how to help others
The students at J.V. Forestall Elementary School are working hard to help provide food to those who need it in their community. And they are learning a lot more than they expected to when they started. What began as a fun and interesting way to answer a call for help from the community has turned into a program of pride and a way to incorporate math, science, reading, and the arts into solving a real life problem.
The Dutchess County Community Action Agency in October stated that, for the first time, The Beacon Food Pantry located at 554 Main Street was empty. Shelves normally filed with canned goods and other necessities needed to be restocked. Mrs. Tery Udell and her 4th Graders, along with other teachers, staff, and the rest of the students at Forestall have begun to answer the call for help.
Through the creation of posters and the decoration of shopping bags from Key Food in their art classes, and flyers made for the community, they have advertised the need for food to help others less fortunate than themselves.
Through the creation of posters and the decoration of shopping bags from Key Food in their art classes, and flyers made for the community, they have advertised the need for food to help others less fortunate than themselves. The flyers have been posted all around Beacon, and the hundreds of bags decorated in the school were distributed to shoppers in Key Food in early November.
To help gather food the students place a drop-off container outside the main entrance to J.V. Forestall School located at 125 Liberty Street, every day from 6:00 A.M. through 4:00 P.M., and ask that everyone consider donating one item each time they do their own food shopping. Some suggestions for donations are canned tuna, cereals, peanut butter, jelly, bagged rice, powdered milk, and canned vegetables. Canned soups, juices, and sauces are also welcome ideas.
The students have taken ownership of this project, being responsible for sorting, weighing, and checking all the food that comes in. They have incorporated learning about weights and measures, expiration dates, and math and reading skills in addition to reading ingredient listings for nutritional values. In addition to the donations received from students and the community, they have started an in-school recycling program, using the proceeds from bottle returns to add more food to the drive.
This drive will continue at J.V. Forrestal School indefinitely, as the need for food is so that great.
November was a very successful month for the drive. The total weight of all the food collected exceeded 600 pounds and required the children to spend an hour or so after school each Friday doing the sorting and weighing. Before Thanksgiving, three turkeys and several pies were collected. The students where pleased to know that their efforts would result in families having a Thanksgiving meal they might not have been able to enjoy otherwise.
This drive will continue at J.V. Forrestal School indefinitely, as the need for food is so that great. The students and staff appreciate the efforts of the community so far, and encourage them to continue to be generous.