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Local schools celebrate the season of giving

Elk Island Public Schools students and staff have been spreading joy throughout the area through several charitable activities.

These activities include food drives, fundraisers, and any way to celebrate the season while giving back to the community.

“All these activities are fantastic,” says Cathy Allen, the board chair at EIPS. “They act as a great way to bring schools and their surrounding communities together toward a common goal—students learn the importance of citizenship and gratitude while helping those in need.”

In Sherwood Park, students at F.R. Haythorne Junior High started their annual food drive with a wake-a-thon. Students needed to bring in food bank donations to take part, which involved them staying up all night long while taking part in activities like video games, karaoke, badminton, and dancing. They even got a midnight pizza party and a morning breakfast.

“My favourite part about the event was playing volleyball in the gym with my friends and having a pizza snack at midnight,” said Carsten Gerlack, a Grade 9 student at F.R. Haythorne.

In Fort Saskatchewan, students at Fort Saskatchewan Christian held a food drive in early December, with students bringing in non-perishable food items to class, with families also encouraged to donate during parent-teacher interviews.

Over at Lamont Elementary, they were raising money for the Lamont Food Bank, with students bringing in boxes of cereal that were lined up around the school for a “Grand Domino Push”.

At Bruderheim School, they took part in the Make Your Mark program, where they were given funding by United Way to create and sell crafts, with all donations being given to the Lamont Food Bank.

In Ardrossan, their Elementary school put together a Giving Tree, with each grade collecting items to help support the Strathcona Food Bank. As for Ardrossan Junior Senior High, they had a 12 Days of Christmas event which included spirit days, art activities, and posts on a variety of cultural celebrations.

Many of these schools are donating to food banks as demand for food banks is on the rise in communities all across the area.

Carsten Gerlack, a Grade 9 student at F.R. Haythorne Junior High, donates items to the school’s holiday food drive.