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Several U-46 schools embrace holiday spirit

By Seth Hancock
  As Christmas nears, students and staff at several School District U-46 schools have gotten into the giving spirit by raising thousands of dollars and thousands of boxes of food and gifts for those in need.
  Students and staff teamed with area businesses and non-profit organizations to raise funds and food for the Food for Greater Elgin, as well as Hanover and Wayne Township food pantries, others bought gifts for the Toys for Tots drive to donating clothing.
  “It is so important our students realize there are always people less fortunate that can easily be helped by working as a team,” said Mike Demovsky, principal at Kenyon Woods Middle School.
  Kenyon Woods was one of three South Elgin schools to take part in Change for Hunger to raise funds for the Food for Greater Elgin food pantry. That school raised $2,552.
  Fox Meadow Elementary School raised $2,048 as well as providing 2,730 meals for the Caring for Others initiative. South Elgin High School raised $635 as well as received a $500 donation from the Wisdom Family Foundation for Change for Hunger.
  “The Change for Hunger initiative has made our students ‘hungry’ to help,” said Sjoukje Brown, Fox Meadow’s principal. “That is something we will always support and encourage.”
  Both Fox Meadow and South Elgin High School also sent Christmas cards to 8-year-old Sa’fyre Terry in New York who made the request for cards after losing her family and suffering severe burns in a fire.
  “A lot of students wrote ‘I’m thinking of you, my family is thinking about you,’ just a lot of really kind thoughts,” Brown said. “We are extremely proud of our students and their willingness to help others.”
  Collecting food items for area food banks and pantries resulted in 3,717 items from Bartlett’s Eastview Middle School, 35 boxes from Hanover Park’s Horizon Elementary School, 26 boxes from Carol Stream’s Spring Trail Elementary School, 25 boxes from Bartlett’s Liberty Elementary School, 12 boxes from Bartlett’s Hawk Hollow Elementary School and 10 boxes from Streamwood’s Glenbrook Elementary School.
  Liberty’s Step Up Club also made fleece blankets, scarves and hats to donate to homeless families.
  Students at Hoffman Estate’s Lincoln Elementary School raised $1,085 for grocery gift cards to give to families in need.
  Teachers Les Carlson and Cindy Carlson at Bartlett’s Prairieview Elementary School for the third straight year organized a fundraiser to purchase coats for students at Elgin’s Garfield Elementary School. Prairieview raised $1,500.
  “It’s so inspiring to see our students look out for the less fortunate throughout the year, not just during the holidays,” said Paul Flatley, Prairieview’s principal. “It is an honor and privilege to have such caring people who truly know the meaning of the season.”
  Bartlett High School’s giving tree resulted in more than 600 gifts, wrapped by its student council, valued at over $12,000. Timber Trails Elementary School in Hoffman Estates donated 100 toys and 50 books, Canton Middle School in Streamwood had 82 gifts donated, Sycamore Trails Elementary School in Bartlett donated 50 toys and 40 hat and gloves sets and U-46’s Future Teacher’s Club and Project Access donated 1,200 gifts.
  Several Elgin schools also took part in charitable drives including Elgin and Larkin high schools, as well as Highland, Huff and Ronald D. O’Neal elementary schools and the Gifford Street high and middle school students.



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