The Examiner U-46 News Feed
U-46 schools active in the season of giving
By Seth Hancock
It’s the season of giving, and many staff and students in School District U-46 have gotten into the Christmas spirit.
Over 20 schools have been involved in efforts such as Change for Hunger with the Northern Illinois Food Bank or with Toys for Tots, an over two-decade long campaign by the United States Marine Corps, to organize food, clothing and toy drives to give to those in need.
At Bartlett’s Nature Ridge Elementary School, students have had a chance to be involved with unique opportunities to give back with Lunch with a Loved One and Adopt-A-Family.
“Throughout the school year, students learn that supporting others is possible in a number of ways,” said Charlotte Coleman, Nature Ridge’s principal. “These events came about through the desire to support our community and create a welcoming environment for our families.”
Lunch with a Loved One, which helped collect toys and supplies for pets through the Animal Shelter Rescue Warriors Corp. and Animal House Shelter, was not only a chance to collect donations but also welcomed parents to the school as students invited a loved one to eat lunch with them while bringing in donations.
Every grade level at Nature Ridge also provided gifts to a family in need for Adopt-A-Family.
“Students learn, throughout the school year, that supporting others is possible in a number of ways,” Coleman said. “Our families continue to remember how thankful we are for our lives and what we have and the fact that there are people less fortunate that need our support.”
Partnering with Hoffman Estates-based business Level 10, Streamwood’s Heritage Elementary School provided new shoes for 62 students in need through Shoes That Fit, a non-profit based in California whose motto is “Changing Lives One Pair of Shoes at a Time.” It was the fourth year Heritage has partnered with Level 10.
Cheryl Domokos, Principal Catherine Fletcher’s secretary, along with social worker Amanda Lesniak helped organize.
Level 10 provided 60 new pairs of shoes and staff at Heritage, who also helped select the students who would receive the shoes, made donations to buy two more pairs of shoes to make sure that students in the same family receive a pair.
Domokos organized the effort to select shoes, and with the help of Lesniak the duo measured the students for shoe size while also keeping it a secret.
“While doing the measuring, we told the students that they were chosen to participate in a special project and that we were working on charting the shoes sizes for students of various ages,” Domokos said. “It is nice to keep it a surprise for the students just to see the joy on their faces when they receive the shoes that Level 10 has donated.”
Both Domokos and Lesniak thanked Level 10, Shoes That Fit, Heritage staff and Fletcher “for making a difference in the lives of children in need at Heritage Elementary School.”
Wayne Elementary School recently had a field trip to Aurora where students packed meals for Feed My Starving Children.
Board member Jeanette Ward, whose children attend Wayne, chaperoned the field trip and said at a recent board meeting that the number of meals packed will feed 76 children for an entire year.
“It was a good and valuable thing, and I’m glad that Wayne Elementary did that,” said Ward who also gave a “shout-out” to sixth grade teachers Jamie Reyes and Christy Whitney for organizing the field trip.
With the Change for Hunger campaign, U-46 schools have raised over $3,500 according to a district press release.