(Photo by Randy M. Cauthron) [Order this photo]
Horst explained that in past years the students participated in a gift exchange with their classmates. This year they decided to search out a project that would challenge them to look at the holiday a bit differently. After looking at available opportunities, the teachers decided to challenge their students to become involved with a food drive, collecting items for holiday meal baskets being prepared by the Spencer Dream Center.
"We knew the Dream Center is an outreach to the whole community, and the whole community could benefit from this. We sent the letter home on Monday, and Tuesday morning, we had items in the box," Coulander said.
"We wanted to build on the character traits of kindness and generosity," Coulander said.
"This upcoming season isn't about what you're getting. It's not what you get, get, get. It's what you give, give, give," Horst said. "It's voluntary, there's no requirement. We just wanted to show them there's a real need right here in the neighborhoods around Spencer."
Both teachers have asked students just to drop items in the box when they arrive at school and not make a big deal about it.
"We don't want them doing it for their own attention. They should do it for someone else."
The boxes have continued to fill throughout the week with items served at a traditional Christmas meal, and the collection will continue through Dec. 14, at which time the items will be presented to the Dream Center for packaging and distribution.