Students at Rockland Public School (RKPS) and Rockland District High School (RDHS) worked together to organize a food drive for their local food bank and build a bridge between the two schools to symbolize their commitment and support of the community.
Called We Scare Hunger for Halloween!, students at both schools collected non-perishable food items from October 17 to October 28 – all in the name of giving back and helping those less fortunate within their community of Rockland. Culminating on October 31, students from RKPS and RDHS built a bridge of food on each of their sports fields and connected the bridge at the fence. In all, approximately 6,000 non-perishable food items were collected and donated to the Clarence-Rockland Food Bank.
“Giving back is an important part of life and incorporating that into learning opportunities for students is crucial for what it means to be part of a community and what it means to be a caring citizen,” says RKPS Principal Nichola Bond. “Throughout the project, students learned about teamwork and how they can make a difference directly within their community. It also demonstrated to students that giving back to a community doesn’t necessarily mean giving money, it can come in the form of food donations and volunteerism.”
Noora Kelly is a Grade 6 student at RKPS and says helping the food bank and those in their community is really important.
“It feels good because you’re giving back to someone who may need some help and it makes you feel more fortunate with what you have.”
Classmate Avni Arunkumar adds that the collection of food over the two weeks was amazing as what they have accomplished will have a direct impact in their community.
“You never know what others are going through in their lives and it’s important for us to help them out and be kind. Because you don’t know what they’re going through and you don’t judge people if you’ve never been in their shoes before.”
The collaborative food drive included Grade 7 and 8 social justice class students at RDHS, who carried over their passion for helping the food bank from when they attended RKPS.
“We’re in a small town, so every donation and initiative helps our food bank and in turn those in our community,” says Holly White, a Grade 12 student and Link Crew member at RDHS. “To raise awareness among our school community, we put up signs, made a post for our school’s Instagram, and promoted it on our morning announcements.”
Link Crew is a leadership class for Grade 11 and 12 students who assist the younger students with the transition to secondary school and provide support for initiatives and activities with the school’s Grade 7 and 8 students. The food drive for RDHS Link Crew members was one of the initiatives.
Fellow Link crew member and Grade 12 student Dimitrie Menzies says helping others whether it be through food drives or other fundraisers is crucial for what it means to be a responsible citizen.
“It’s really important in a small community to band together because when we can get a large social institution, like a school to work together towards something like this, it can be really impactful and since we are one community the bridge of food between the two schools is very symbolic.”