Students help school ‘Pack the Bus’ for a local food pantry

Roughly 300 items were donated to Your Place at the Table.

By KRYSTAL NURSE

The Sun

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After spending a week collecting boxed and canned goods from their families, students packed the items into a school bus.

On March 4, students assembled in the back of Harrison Township Elementary for the school’s “Pack the Bus” event. They sent items such as boxed pasta, cereal and soups to Your Place at the Table, located within Trinity United Methodist Church. Prior to the day, the students had to use their math skills to calculate how much food could fit in a bus.

“We measured it with the length and width, and we had to calculate and figure out what the height was,” said student Lilah Matz.

Students said they collected the donations from within their homes by scouring their pantries for new items that they didn’t want and could be donated. The donation period lasted just over a week.

Principal AnnaLisa Rodano said the idea of packing donations in a school bus came after seeing health and physical education teacher Mickey Fox’s stacking competition, which had donated items. Rodano added they wanted to do something different this year and collect items in February since YPATT receives an influx of donations around Thanksgiving.

“We use the bus to incorporate different parts of the curriculum like mass, volume and weight into their Innovations and Design class,” she added. “Then our whole community came out and donated things to the kids. It’ll be donated to Trinity, who holds donations for many in the community.”

During the packing event, students dashed and grabbed items to bag or place in boxes to be safely transported on a shortened school bus — the original plan was to pack a full-length school bus, but it was later changed to a shorter one — to YPATT.

“It would have been funny if they strapped in the foods with the seatbelts, so it wouldn’t fall,” said student Braydon Robinson.

Students were also instructed to continue using their math skills to count the number of donations before handing them off to their peers. Just over 300 items were donated.

“I love that they have an opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom and into the community,” said Rodano. “I think it’s super important to be focused on global initiatives and doing things beyond the classroom and the school walls.”

Students exclaimed their excitement about the event saying they hope it “continues forever.”

“I think it was a hugely successful event the first year that we did it,” said Rodano. “It will only continue to get larger. I want to integrate more learning in it.”

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