“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” Charles Dickens.
The sixth grade class of SAMS was definitely not useless this Thanksgiving season as they lightened the burden of over twenty-three families’ right here in our very own Firelands’ community! The sixth grade students under the direction of their teachers: Mrs. Budweg, Mr. Grude, Mrs. Gulish, Mrs. Muth, Mrs. Neal, Mrs. Palmer and Mr. Swift; assembled over 23 Thanksgiving Food Baskets as a culminating learning activity. Mrs. Sullivan, the Work and Family instructor, taught the students how to take donated apples from local apple orchards and turn them into delicious applesauce to add a piece of history to the Food Baskets. Mrs. Finnegan, the Firelands High School FFA Advisor, directed numerous FFA officers and students how to research the ever increasing issue of hunger and then these students “paid this knowledge forward” by teaching their newly discovered education to the sixth grade students. Mrs. Van Cooney, the Freshman Class Advisor, led the freshman students in a “hat-day” to raise monetary funds to purchase items that were lacking from the baskets. These Food Baskets still needed the main dish, a turkey. Firelands Local Schools has the most generous staff in the entire country, it was this staff as well as numerous parents that so willingly donated turkeys to stuff the baskets. On packing day, Mr. Spagnola, SAMS principal, and Mrs. Butchko spent their afternoon capturing this learning experience on camera while students were more than willing to share what they had learned throughout this entire experience. The Thanksgiving Baskets included a turkey, gravy, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, freshly canned applesauce, rolls and a pie; but the most costly item was the generosity of so many of the Firelands’ family that taught the sixth grade students they are not useless, they have a purpose. Maybe it really does take a village.