Elementary students at an Edmonton school have created welcome packs to help people in the community working towards long-term housing.
“Some people need our help,” explained Grade 2 student Sophie Li. “We did what we can to help them.”
Grade 4 student Kendra Vanburg said the project took some time to complete.
“It took a few days to get everything together. Then we did some hand art… and it took us total about a week or two.”
Each package came with a special note, handwritten by a Grade 2 student.
“We wrote positive messages,” Li said. “We said, ‘You can do it’ and, ‘You make me smile.'”
The project teaches kids a valuable lesson — the importance of giving back to the community.
“It’s important to do because it makes me happy that everyone has stuff to keep them warm and healthy,” said Addison Mussbacher, also in Grade 2.
Teacher Craig Roberge said the students were eager to put together the welcome packages.
“The students are learning about what the needs of the community are… they know what to do and they want to help people. It’s wonderful,” he said.
Zara Korai, a Grade 4 student, said she enjoyed working on the project with younger students — even if they couldn’t physically be together during COVID-19.
“It felt nice to help people and to work with other kids,” Korai said. “We also learned a lot of things about poverty. We got to make a difference.”
The school received funding for supplies from Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty, a United Way initiative that provides schools with an opportunity to access grants and take action against poverty in their city.
“It’s remarkable watching nine year olds understand that it’s not just enough to help people living in poverty. They want to end poverty,” he said.
The Mustard Seed sent a vehicle to pick up the care packages at the school. One-by-one, the students dropped off packages to be delivered.
“They had so much pride,” Roberge said. “It’s just wonderful to see their passion.”