By ROSIE GITHINJI
MT. VERNON —
The students at J.L. Buford Intermediate Center learned the importance of giving this holiday season after participating in a school wide canned food drive.
April Hertenstein, the school social worker, organized the food drive and helped coordinate with the teachers and their students.
“We participate in it every year because what comes out of it impacts so many kids,” Hertenstein said. “The parents are happy to see the kids given the opportunity to participate because it’s something every kid can do.”
Hertenstein said the children are learning how to help their community, which is an especially important lesson to teach during the holidays. All of the food collected will stay in Jefferson County and goes to benefit the Jefferson County Ministerial Alliance Christmas Food Basket program.
“They love it, the kids love it,” she said. “They know it’s for something good. It’s brings the holiday spirit for them.”
Chris Mount is the fifth grade teacher whose class won the food drive this year. It is also his first year and he said now the precedent has been set.
“I wanted them to know what it was like to give instead of receive,” Mount said. “It was like a community service project. I wanted to constantly remind them it’s not about winning, it’s about helping out.”
Mount said next year, his class will have to up the ante. The winning class already receives a pizza party, but Mount threw in desserts and drinks as well if his class won, which it did.
The class collected approximately 322 cans. Jordan Morrison, one of the children, said he enjoyed participating in the food drive and he is really excited about being in the winning class.
“The best part was that we get to donate all the cans for the needy,” Morrison said.
His classmate, Chloe Sinks also said she was excited about participating in the food drive.
“I like that it is for a good cause,” Sinks said.
Students in the winning fifth grade class include: Mariah Berner, McKinley Brooks, CorNaja Crosby, Mackenzie Culver, Shelter Cummings, Brendan Estes-Payne, Cody Estes, Trenton Goosby, Taylor Halasinski-Farr, Micah Howard, Parker Jennings, Amileia Ladd, Kennedy Laskowski, Abigail Meritt, Jordan Morrison, Savannah Setzekorn, Chloe Sinks, Corey Smith, Adrienne Stuckey, Danielle Sullivan, TyJanai Trimble, Elijah Whitfield and Kashius Williams.