In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, students at Dearborn Heights Montessori Center hold a drive to collect food for Gleaners Community Food Bank. The annual food drive garnered more than 1,200 pounds of food for Gleaners last year.
“The school has been an ongoing supporter of Gleaners,” said Sue Fitzpatrick, coordinator of Parent Support and Community Outreach. “By participating in food drives, we teach our students from toddler age all the way through middle school the importance of giving. Learning to develop empathy, good citizenship, and a spirit of service are an important part of the Montessori philosophy and curriculum.”
DHMC students looked forward to the interactive process that took place in the school lobby. Students received a grocery bag with instructions in their backpacks, and were encouraged to gather their donation with parents. Each donation was then brought to the school and placed in the collection boxes. Students had the opportunity to weigh the food and then sort it by food category. Entire families were involved in the process.
According to Fitzpatrick, the Gleaners collection provides not only important lessons about generosity and families in need, but also the use of math concepts and skills. The donations were tracked using a giant 100-bead square, with each bead representing 10 pounds of food. In addition, the Gleaners food drive allowed the students to demonstrate teamwork, leadership, communication skills, and community awareness.
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