JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Students at Jonesboro's Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School didn't just study about the pilgrim's feast this school year. They worked to provide a modern-day portion of it for families who might otherwise go without food Thanksgiving week.
The school operates a backpack program which provides extra food for students attending VPA that need it. Since students will be out of school all next week, there is a greater need for food items.
"Our theme this year with our PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) program is 'Have a HEART through the ARTS,'" said Stephanie Richardson, VPA's ACE facilitator. "We wanted our students to learn that life is not always about getting, but also about giving. So we challenged them to a food drive that would benefit VPA students."
The food drive started on Nov. 2 and ran for two weeks.
"Today was our final day," Richardson said. "The students found out in the morning assembly, that they brought 3,000 items for our food drive."
The food will be used in the school backpack program.
"Some of the food will be used to make Blessing Boxes for some of our VPA families for Thanksgiving," Richardson said. "We had a total of 15 Blessing Boxes that were made. We would like to thank Apex Tool Group for donating turkeys to go along with our Blessing Boxes."
Each day students would bring bags of food from home to the stage at the elementary school.
"We heard so many heartfelt comments and conversations about this idea," Richardson said. "Our students loved getting to bring items to the stage and would say things like 'This is going to help people!' 'I don't want anyone to be hungry,' or even 'I told my dad we had to clean out the pantry and give our food.'"
Students cheered when teachers revealed on stage just how many food items had been turned in during the drive.
"It was a great event and we hope to do it again next year," Richardson said. "We LOVE that our students and staff care about each other. This was just one more way they showed it!"
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