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Early Light Academy Students Donate Food To Benefit Local Pantry

Jan 04, 2016 12:18PM ● Published by Julie Slama

By Julie Slama

South Jordan - About 400 gallons of food is what 1,000 Early Light Academy students hope to donate this fall to St. Andrew’s Pantry to help those families in need.

Beginning the week of Nov. 9, kindergarten through ninth-grade students could bring in non-perishable items to the school’s fifth annual food drive, coordinated by the studentbody officers. Seven 55-gallon drums were expected to be in the school foyer until Nov. 24.

“It’s part of our school culture and something we support to help our community,” said Rabecca Cisneros, adviser to the studentbody officers called Students Make a Change.

However, Early Light Academy also ties the food drive into learning about mathematics.

“We make a math connection with the weight of the food,” Cisneros said. “We have students calculate how much they bring in and each class reports the weight. From there, younger students are learning their numbers, elementary students learn unit of measurement and relate it to life, older students are learning comparative units, averaging and graphing the outcomes.”

The results are then posted at the school in a thermostat to see which class has the lead. The class with the most donations will play in a dodge ball game against the faculty, she said.

The school lesson isn’t just limited to math either, Cisneros said.

“We want them to think about why they are donating it and if we have enough food in our own pantries, we can share with those who don’t,” she said. 

Cisneros said that they give students the context of how they are helping other Utah kids, teaching Early Light Academy students facts from the Utah Food Bank’s website: “About 23,000 Utahns, which equates to one in seven Utahns, are at risk of missing a meal today. Even more alarming is that one in five Utah kids are unsure where their next meal is coming from.”

“Food pantries need donations year-round. By helping out with one in our own community, we’re teaching our students how to be grateful for what they have and how to help give service and help those who are in need,” she said.

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