Hardy Middle School Students Help the Hungry
A canned food drive organized by teacher Andrea Clyne gives Hardy Middle School students a chance to give back to the great D.C. community.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, a small table in the Hardy Middle School cafeteria was stacked with cans and the floor around it covered in paper bags filled with donations that will benefit the Capital Area Foodbank. Hardy sixth grade teacher Andrea Clyne organized the food drive at the school to give students the opportunity to help those in need and to create a greater sense of community in the process.
According to the January 2010 study "Hunger in America" 46 percent of members of households served by the Capital Area Foodbank are children. This year alone the foodbank has seen a 25 percent increase in Washington Metro area residents needing food emergency assistance.
A sign hanging over the donation table read, "Hardy collected 516 items! Way to go!!" As Clyne searched for items in her classroom, Hardy Principal Dana Nerenberg stopped by the table covered in donations remarking, "Wow, they collected a lot!"
The drive was originally supposed to end Nov. 24 in time for Thanksgiving, but Clyne extended the deadline to Nov. 30 since several students realized they had forgotten their donations. "I can't fit it all in my car at this point anyway," said Clyne.
She will be driving the donations to the foodbank herself, making several trips to deliver the cans and boxes and bags that students from 25 homerooms brought as their contributions. The sixth grade was the most energized bringing in a total of 336 items, said Clyne. It looks like right now Mr. Oliver and Ms. Gaines have a lead in their homeroom with 118 items donated.
Clyne decided to organize the food drive after the Help the Homeless walk held at the school recently. The students were already thinking about those in need, so Clyne decided to continue to peak their interest about how they could help. She made it into a competition to add a little more excitement; the winning homeroom gets a pizza party, which Clyne will pay for out of pocket.
Clyne smiles, saying "I was impressed by some of them, by their enthusiasm" as students egged one another on asking, "did you bring in a can yet?"
If you are interested in helping, donations can be brought to the front desk through Nov. 30.