While many things have changed this year due to COVID, third graders were excited to hold their annual drive benefiting North Dallas Shared Ministries. As part of their social studies curriculum unit related to wants vs. needs, students learned that 1 in 4 children (roughly 300,000 kids) in North Texas is food insecure, meaning they don't have reliable access to enough affordable and nutritious food or hygiene products.
In previous years, third graders begin their studies of food insecurity by visiting a local grocery store, where they use their mathematical reasoning skills to purchase groceries with a budget of just $11.62 - the cost for NDSM to feed one hungry person each day. Although COVID didn't allow for this off-campus field trip, teachers were able to adapt the lesson inside the classroom.
Over the first week of November, third graders eagerly gathered donations in bags during morning carpool. This year, families donated filled bags rather than individual items to reduce the amount of contact per item. ESD students gathered nearly 280 bags of around 10 items - comparable to what we've gathered in years previous, even with COVID adaptations.
Students normally hand-deliver and then stock items on the pantry shelves at NDSM, but this year Director of Community Service Learning Courtney Phelps visited the food bank in person and gave students a virtual tour. Students were able to view the pantry and ask questions using Zoom's chat feature, all while staying socially distanced in their classrooms.
Although this year's drive looked a lot different, we are so proud of these Eagles and the many parent volunteers, faculty, and staff that supported this great cause.