City students get lesson in joy of giving with Christmas hamper drive
robin kuniski/for metro calgary
Community building is a lesson students at a local charter academy are putting into action this Christmas.
Staff and students at the Foundations of the Future Charter Academy’s Southwood campus have teamed up with the Heartland Agency to fill the wish lists of needy Calgary families for the holidays.
Hampers for a dozen families were put together by students filled with the spirit of giving over the past few weeks and yesterday they were loaded onto cube vans for delivery.
It was a task that gave Grade 5 student Nicolas Cameron a tremendous sense of pride.
“It feels good ‘cause you can just do stuff for somebody else and you get the satisfaction that you know somebody’s going to receive these presents and they’re going to be thinking, ‘someone cares about me,’” he said.
Two classes were assigned to each family, and according to FFCA principal Cathy McCauley, collecting the items on the wish lists was an undertaking the students were thrilled to take part in.
“Our kids got so excited because finally these kids we were helping were right here in the city of Calgary — they-could-be-living-right-next-door-to-them, kind of kids,” said McCauley, noting that this kind of citizenship and character-building of students is one of the hallmarks of the school.
“I think that’s what put the drive and energy behind this whole project, was that these were kids in Calgary and we were going to do something for those families.”
Children streamed out of the academy carrying totes full of food and bags of clothes and toys, much to the delight of Heartland Agency executive director, Ilona Boyce.
“In a lot of ways this is a give and take — I see the community here has pulled together to give back to other parts of their community that are in need,” she said.
Boyce said this type of program at FFCA works well with the Even Start program, which assists children in at-risk situations. She added that 85 per cent of the programming at Heartland is geared towards youth.