To ring in the new year, Fletcher Elementary students have finished one significant community service project and are beginning another. 
In December, students from Fletcher Elementary School collected 331 non-perishable food items as part of a school-wide food drive. Classes teamed up with the school’s parent group, Friends of Fletcher Elementary, to organize the effort that challenged students to see if they could collectively assemble 200 food items between all of the classes. 

“The food drive is really good because it helps people stay healthy and makes sure they have enough to eat,” student Lorelei Sloan said.

“You don’t always think about it but some people might not have enough food for their family and we need to help them.”

This is the first year that the school and parent group have organized the drive together with the goal of creating and distributing meal boxes to needy families within the town of Fletcher. Students discussed community service, and incorporated math skills into the drive by counting and sorting food items and graphing the totals each class contributed on a whole-school graph. The effort culminated in a virtual school-wide meeting during which students gathered the food for delivery. 

And, while the food drive has ended, the community service has not.

A group of students at Fletcher Elementary School are collecting the unmarked front covers of holiday cards in an effort to save lives. The cards will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital where they will be recycled into new cards and sold to benefit children’s care at the hospital. The Fletcher students have dubbed the project, Cards for Kids.

At St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food. Innovations in treatment for childhood cancer pioneered at St. Jude’s have helped push the childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent. Profits from these upcycled cards will support continued cost-free care and cancer research.

Cards donated to the school need not be separated or prepared in any way. Students will remove the unmarked covers and discard any portions with writing. They will also use the cards as part of math and writing lessons as they prepare them for shipment. Or, donors may remove the covers themselves, if they prefer.

Cards may be dropped off at the school (there is a collection box in the entryway) or mailed to: Chris Dodge, Principal, Fletcher Elementary School, 340 School Road, Cambridge, VT 05444. The deadline to submit cards is Friday, February 5, 2021.

Students are working to collect 6,000 cards, topping last year’s total by 500.

Christopher Dodge is the Principal of Fletcher Elementary School and is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow him on Twitter @FletcherFalcon

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