Second-graders stock up

Alex Look, Willa Vigneault, Sidney Johnson, Samantha Robinson, Mitchell Chaves, and Kate Sudarsky
From left, second-graders Alex Look, Willa Vigneault (standing on a step stool), Sidney Johnson, Samantha Robinson, Mitchell Chaves, and Kate Sudarsky stock the shelves at the Island Food Pantry with donations from students at West Tisbury School. Photos by Susan Safford

Posted December 21, 2006

West Tisbury School second-graders and members of the Student Council presented 13 boxes of canned goods to Island Food Pantry director Armen Hanjian at the Christ United Methodist Church in Vineyard Haven on Monday.

Seventeen second-grade students, taught by teacher Marilyn Yas and her assistant Mara Coleman, took over the school's food drive this year for school secretary Anita Smith, who spearheaded the effort for the last few years. In September, Mr. Hanjian visited Ms. Yas's class to talk about helping the Island community. The second-graders then teamed up with members of the school's student council to set up a collection box for donated canned goods in all of the classrooms.

Ms. Yas said she believes learning about community service should start when children are young. In addition to using the food drive as a starting point for discussions about giving, she incorporated the canned goods collection into lessons on sorting by shape, type, and alphabetical order, and for demonstrating math concepts, complete with graphs and charts. "Some people think that because kids are young, they can't make a difference," she said. "The kids in my room think that they can."

The West Tisbury School will continue the food drive through April.