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Students Show Community They Care

Feb 20, 2015 01:48PM ● Published by Julie Slama

Classes at Oak Hollow Elementary competed to see who could bring in the most clothing donations for The Road Home.

Some Wasatch Front veterans received valentines, thanks to Willow Springs first-grade students.

As part of the new Valentines for Veterans program, an initiative that had volunteers deliver 160,000 valentines to veterans living along the Wasatch Front. Sarah Ahlberg’s first-graders made cards expressing their gratitude for veterans.

“My friend told me about the Valentines for Veterans project, and we decided to make valentines based off of that,” Ahlberg said. “I love the idea, and this class is so polite and appreciative of everything, it’s a good fit.”

Ahlberg, noting the school donated about 300 cards to the project, said that the class has learned about what veterans are and how they have served the country. So this project ties into the state core curriculum of learning about and helping their community. She said it also ties into learning about awareness of their feelings and writing skills.

“They’re excited for the veterans to get them and make them feel good,” she said.

At Oak Hollow, it was third-grader Annika Stenquist, who said that her school needed to get involved in donating to the community. So together with her mother, Karen and her friend Lizzy Bodell, they made a flier and sought permission from school officials to hold a winter clothing drive for The Road Home Shelter in Midvale.

“Basically, we collected anything someone would put on to go outside in the winter and build a snowman,” Karen Stenquist said. “We looked at what The Road Home needed, and we picked winter clothing.”

Stenquist said her daughter wanted to get the school involved since each year they hold a service project. When there wasn’t anything on the schedule, Annika initiated the process and organized the winter clothing drive from Jan. 12 through Jan. 23.

“She really wanted to help, and that inspired us to get others involved,” her mother said.
 At the school, paper thermometers marked the students’ progress in getting snowmen warm, with the winning classes being served hot chocolate with sprinkles and whipped cream by parent volunteers and members of Corner Canyon High Peer Leadership Team.

All students were thanked for their participation and support and were given hot chocolate packets, after more than two vans were packed with coats, snow pants, boots, hats, scarves and gloves, Stenquist said.

Those items and others filled a trailer at St. John the Baptist Elementary School and then donated to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Utah.

“We gave clothing and items that could be put to good use right away,” Director of Advancement Nevah Stevenson said. “Everyone joined in the call to action from Principal Nikki Ward to ‘clean out your closets’ and look for ways you can donate to help others.”

Stevenson said that during the drive that was held the week of Jan. 26, which also was Catholic Schools Week, one student said that she didn’t have a little sister and didn’t need her baby stuff anymore,, so she and her mom went through her baby clothes and selected the special items they wanted to keep, but donated everything else. Another family gave two bikes, and several students donated toys.            
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