DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Michigan – Two weeks before Thanksgiving, Dearborn Heights Montessori Center (DHMC) kicked off a “Give Thanks – Give Five” campaign, the school’s first initiative of an ongoing service partnership with Gleaners Food Bank. The goal of the partnership is to help students learn about the importance of serving others less fortunate.
“We set a goal of collecting 1,000 pounds of food over a two week period, hoping that our school’s 200 families would donate five pounds of food each in gratitude for all they have,” said Sue Fitzpatrick, Parenting Support and Community Outreach coordinator who organized the campaign. “We were overwhelmed that families donated more than 1,500 pounds to help feed the hungry in Michigan.”
Thanksgiving food drive brings in more than 1500 pounds
Students in toddler through middle school played active roles in the food drive. Each student took home a brown paper “Kids Helping Kids” grocery bag. Students from the school’s upper elementary and middle school classes visited with pre-schoolers and students in the lower elementary grades to talk about the food drive and the state of Michigan families in need.
Students in kindergarten and lower elementary grades also helped to weigh and sort the food into categories each day and fill in a large thousand cube graph with “golden beads,” each representing 10 pounds of donated food.
Fitzpatrick shared that children were able to apply a lot of the learning exercises from their classrooms to the project tasks. Balancing items on a food scale proved a challenge for some that resulted in team problem solving. Others compared the printed number of ounces on a box of food with results on the scale that only displayed pounds and fractions of pounds. When sorting the food into categories of fruits, vegetables, soup, dry food and others, conversations turned toward nutrition.
“This campaign was a total school effort that far exceeded our expectations and will help to feed a lot of hungry people,” said Fitzpatrick. “Students are already looking forward to our next service project with Gleaners.”
About Dearborn Heights Montessori Center
Dearborn Heights Montessori Center (DHMC) is a non-profit educational community founded in 1972. Celebrating its 40th anniversary year, DHMC is the largest and longest-established Montessori school in western Wayne County. Programs include toddler, preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school as well as summer programs and academic tutoring. Day care and latchkey are also available for enrolled children.
DHMC has received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and is affiliated with the American Montessori Society, Michigan Montessori Society, and the Association of Independent Michigan Schools (AIMS). DHMC toddler, preschool, day care and latchkey programs, along with its satellites Livonia Montessori Center and Plymouth-Canton Montessori School, are licensed by the Michigan Division of Child and Adult Licensing. More information is available at www.dhmontessori.org and by calling 313-359-3000.