Arms filled with food, hearts filled with compassion and generosity, and a smile ear-to-ear; this is what can be seen at Plymouth Scholars Charter Academy during their annual Gleaners Food Drive.
Plymouth Scholars has been partnering with Gleaners Community Food Bank, which aims to achieve a hunger-free community by providing access to nutritious food and related resources, for eight years, and the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) has been running the drive for the last six.
After NJHS middle school students collected the donation boxes for each grade level, they weighed the amount of food collected to not only celebrate and recognize their hard work but to also make goals and plans for how they can continue giving back next year. In total, 1,339 pounds of food was raised to feed their local community!
“The success of the Gleaners Drive at Plymouth only reiterates the wonderful families that attend Plymouth Scholars and really demonstrates how being involved within the community can leave a lasting impression,” said Kyle Kobe, seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Plymouth Scholars.
Kobe shared that the two biggest areas in which students grow in through this initiative are compassion and gratitude. “Students learn to appreciate and be grateful for what they have and to value how fortunate they are. The rewarding experience of giving back allows students to view participating in the drive as a privilege rather than as an obligation,” he said.
Staff at Plymouth Scholars strive to show students the importance of compassion and helping others whenever possible. Students begin to see the value in helping others and have learned how rewarding and fulfilling giving back can be.
“Being part of the Gleaners Drive is a great way for students to develop more concern for others and to think about other people's needs,” said Kobe. “Students are able to put themselves in another person's shoes and develop empathy.”
Students at Plymouth Scholars work hard to not only be good students academically but are also learning to become good citizens who give back and help the people in need throughout their community. They are always eager to know how much has been donated because they understand where the donations are going and how much of an impact it will make for someone who needs it.
“I love to see our Plymouth Scholars community come together to help families in need. I am proud that our scholars learn the gift of charity and giving during this season,” said Sabrina Terenzi, principal at Plymouth Scholars. “Empathy and compassion are traits that are learned, and this is an amazing way to enforce these virtues with our students.”
Way to go, Plymouth Scholars!