The students of P 186 are making a difference in the community by organizing a food drive to help aid the hungry throughout the Bronx.
One caring youth of class X13 of P 186, located at 750 Jennings Street, was reading the New York Post and became upset over reports concerning the number of people needing food and assistance. Seeing this student’s concern, teacher Dawn Gallagher decided the cause would be a great project for the class.
“The whole idea came from a student of mine. She was reading the paper and I saw her shaking her head, so I went over to her and she asked me to read it. It was an article stating how food pantries and kitchens were empty and how drastic the need is,” said Gallagher. “We all sat down and brainstormed and decided to bring in food.”
Together the eight students and school faculty choose to organize this drive for Part of the Solution, POTS, located at 2763 Webster Avenue, which provides nourishing meals and necessary supplies to Bronxites in need.
“We are so happy these young kids are getting involved in the community,” said Taina Rodriguez, kitchen and volunteer coordinator at POTS. “This is a huge plus for us especially with the way the economy is, it is hard to get donations, and the fact that schools are coming up with ideas for food drives is wonderful.”
Upon seeing the class’s enthusiasm for the project, the rest of the school decided to join in and contribute, either through donations or finding ways to encourage student participation, such as making signs recognizing participants.
“I think what these students are doing is great and it is a good way to severely challenge the students,” said the second year principal, Ava Kaplan, who encouraged the X13 class to make a field trip out of the project, and deliver the goods themselves on Wednesday, December 17. “Its nice for the kids to see the final product. They are seeing this whole thing through, it helps them to feel good about themselves and raises their self-esteem.”
The students created fliers, made announcements, went around collecting from other classes, brought in boxes, and organized the food. They also were asked to complete several writing assignments, including a letter of thank you to the person running the food kitchen.
“Once we got the go ahead for this the kids just took off all the way and they seem to really enjoy it,” said Gallagher. “I want to try and make this an annual tradition and I know the faculty and staff would be incredible supportive of that.”