Big Kids, Little Kids

FUNdraising a BFA success at City School

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By Sarah West, Messenger Correspondent

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ST. ALBANS — City School first, second and third graders were treated to an afternoon of fun Friday, provided by Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans (BFA) students to raise funds for Hannaford Helping Hands holiday food box donations.

The “1st – 3rd Grade FunDay” event was planned and promoted by BFA students in Mary Brouillette’s Sports & Entertainment Marketing (S&EM) class, in collaboration with City School teachers, led by Stacie Rouleau.

The event served a three-fold purpose: providing S&EM students an opportunity to put their “planning for a cause” know-how into practice; creating a fun after-school event for the elementary school students; and raising funds to put back into the community through the form of donations to the holiday food box effort at the local supermarket. The boxes annually are given to local food pantries.

The event raised $187, which will provide 18 boxes. The elementary students paid two-dollars each to attend the after-school FunDay, which included a healthy snack, four activity stations and invaluable time spent with high school student mentors.

“I love having the older students form relationships with the younger students,” said Stacie Rouleau, who teaches first through fourth grade alternative students at St. Albans City School (SACS).

Learning to Lead

Additional BFA students participated in leading the FunDay events, including members of Dee Christie’s National Art Honor Society, members of the Athletic Council and students from the Leadership Training Class.

“I wanted to be involved because I thought it was a cool opportunity to hang out with kids and have fun,” said BFA Senior Julie Gagne. Gagne, a student in the Leadership Training Class at BFA, helped teach kids to make paper snowflakes at one of the craft stations. “I also like that the money being raised goes towards helping those in need.”

Collaboration between the two schools was imperative, giving older students an opportunity to lead their younger counterparts. As teachers and faculty shared resources, they enabled students to expand their leadership skills outside of the classroom environment.

The S&EM students began planning the FunDay in late October, reaching out to SACS staff for resources, such as art supplies.

Caleb Bonnette, who contacted the Messenger to gain public coverage of the event, put his classroom lessons into action. “The best part of the planning process was learning how to write business letters to sponsors and to the media, reaching out for coverage for our event,” he said.

Teachers Mary Brouillette and Stacie Rouleau had worked together on a similar event two years ago.

“As last time, it was very successful and the students had a lot of fun. My students have chosen the cause, planned the activities and advertised the event,” Brouillette said of the collaborative FunDay.

“Every staff member at SACS does a Personal Education Plan (PEP) each year. It has three major components: Student learning, professional responsibilities and teacher learning outcomes,” Rouleau said of the role of the event for the first-third graders at SACS.

She added, “I made it a goal of my PEP this year to hold three afterschool/evening events for grades 1 through 3 to work on social skills, expected behaviors in a large group, and practicing kindness.”

Collective learning and fundraising aside, the younger students were focused on nothing but fun “The FunDay is a great opportunity for the kids to hang out in a somewhat unstructured setting, having fun with their friends,” Joan Cavallo, principal of the St. Albans City School shared of her student’s participation in Friday’s event.

For Hayden Wells, a second grader, playing the games was the most fun, “they are all ones I’ve played before,” he said, laughing. Third grader Jordan Martin agreed, “Red Light, Green Light is my favorite part of today!”

The funds raised through the event will be used to bring nourishment to others in the community. “It’s a great cause, as the money goes right back into our own community,” Brouillette said of the Hannaford Helping Hand program.

Hannaford Helps efforts …

This holiday season, the ‘Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger’ program provides three ways to make a difference for those in need of a supplemental food. In lieu of purchasing a ‘Helping Hands Box,’ individuals may also look for “Buy 1, Give 1” items for which the store matches purchases and donates them to the regional food bank. During the month of December, shoppers may also donate funds directly at the register.

According to the Hannaford Web site, the ‘Hannaford Helps Schools’ program exists throughout New England to assist schools in raising money through regular individual purchases. For registered schools, funds are deposited in the in-store collection tower when participating products are purchased. In 2013, BFA earned $417, with SACS earning 396 school dollars.

For more information about Hannaford’s Fund-Raising Programs visit: www.Hannaford.com/HannafordHelps