Ryerson Heights ES Food Drive Sure to Make the Holidays Brighter

This week's edition of Schools in the News was authored and produced by the students of 7W at Ryerson Heights Elementary School.

A group of students wearing holiday elf hats organizes canned goods

Ryerson Heights Elementary School is a lighthouse school. This makes it our mission to help those in need, inside and outside of our community. Our school is driven by a unique leadership focus each year, and this year, “It’s Our Time to Shine.” A food and toy drive in support of the Salvation Army has been organized by the Grade 7 students as their community service project, and is sure to make things brighter for others.

Our goal for this year's food drive is to raise more than 1,200 non-perishable food items. This means two items per student, and we're hoping to smash that goal! To kick off the food drive, the class of 7W formed the Elf Brigade, which travelled to classrooms handing out flyers, and showing a newscast made by our students to promote the food and toy drive.

What some people may not know is that not every family has the luxury to give at Christmas time. Many families cannot afford to feed themselves and their children. Last Christmas, the Salvation Army distributed more than 1,000 food hampers in Brantford alone. Each month, the Salvation Army provides support to more than 450 families, and this number has increased by over 20 per cent this year. The Salvation Army expects to reach more than 1,000 families in need during the holiday season, but they need our help to continue to provide for everyone, especially because of rising numbers.

“At Ryerson Heights, an important part of our leadership program is recognizing needs within the community, the country, and even the world. At Ryerson we challenge our students to think beyond themselves, and focus on how they can make a difference in the lives of others, helping to make the world a better place for everyone,” said Mrs. Lisa VanLeeuwen, principal at Ryerson Heights Elementary School. “The food and toy drive is a leadership initiative that is student-led by our Grade 7 students. It represents an opportunity for leadership and giving back to our community.”

The food and toy drive initiative is embedded in Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan, as we are making connections in the community and helping those in need. Students develop an understanding of social responsibility, the well-being and interests of the community they are a part of. The food and toy drive is helping to show all students that a small action, such as bringing in two food items, can make a big change in their community.

More News