Fifth-graders from made a special delivery on December 5… They walked down Glann Road to the Park Terrace Community Food Pantry, housed in the basement of the Park Terrace Methodist Church, and delivered 45 hand-wrapped, hand-decorated shoe boxes filled with personal care items and winter gear. Every year the children and their teachers collect toiletries such as shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotions and more to put together these personal care boxes for the patrons of the food pantry. This is the first year that they were able to deliver the boxes themselves, and also received a tour of the pantry from co-directors Brenda Cronk and Bonnie Hand.
The Community Box Project, as it is known, ties into their classroom curriculum focusing on needs versus wants. Facilitated by the fifth-grade teachers each year, the students also learn a lesson in kindness and giving back to the community. It all supports the school’s theme of “Making Actions Count.”
“The toiletries are really appreciated, because we don’t usually have those,” said co-director Brenda Cronk, who happens to be fifth-grade teacher Sarah Gilliland’s mother. “The boxes are a special treat that our patrons really look forward to every year.”
“The boxes are nice during the holidays to round out our food donations,” said Bonnie Hand, who is also Mrs. Gilliland’s aunt. “We appreciate the kids doing this.”
Other classrooms at Tioga Hills work throughout the year to make their Actions Count, too… The entire school participates in a Holiday Food Drive, in conjunction with the Apalachin Lions Club, and a portion of the food items collected will also be distributed to the Park Terrace Community Food Pantry.
“This annual fifth-grade project so beautifully illustrates the idea of ‘Making our Actions Count’ in the community around us and how students working cooperatively can benefit those in need at this time of year,” said Tioga Hills Elementary Principal Hayley Crimmins. “We cherish our partnership with the Park Terrace Community Food Pantry and will continue to support them throughout the years.”