Fremont students learn value of giving at annual shopping trip

For 30 years, students in Mundelein-based Fremont Elementary School District 79 have participated in a shopping trip to buy food and household items for members of the community.

About 125 students from Fremont Elementary and Intermediate schools and 40 volunteers resumed that tradition Thursday, spending an hour at a nearby Target store purchasing items for people in need.

Three buses transported the enthusiastic students, who were split into groups once they arrived at the store. Each group could spend $100 from a predetermined list of goods.

The food and other items will be delivered to the Fremont Township Food pantry and distributed to local families. Parents and students donated money for the shopping trip, and students were encouraged to do chores around the house to earn money to donate.

Chris Bratta, a first/second-grade teacher at Fremont Elementary, said families gave generously to make the event a success.

"We try to build and foster empathy and the generosity of giving to those who are less fortunate than we are," Bratta said. "It not only helps the people we are buying for, but it also proves to be a valuable, meaningful life experience for our students."

"We also teach the students about budgeting to buy the most that we can with the money and the importance of providing needs versus wants," she said.

  Fremont School first- and second-grade students, from left, Aarya Dhyani, Poppy Latuszek and Addison Oliva shop Thursday at the Target store in Mundelein for the Fremont Township food pantry. Addison's grandmother, Diane Treu, was helping with the group. Paul Valade/
  Target cashier Edel Aculado helps Fremont Elementary School District 79 students and volunteers pay for Fremont Township food pantry items at the Mundelein store Thursday. Aculado said her children participated in the annual shopping event more than 20 years ago. Paul Valade/
  Fremont District 79 students, from left, Madeleine Hitt, Emma Cunliffe and Haylee Varvarezos-Fritch enjoy shopping for the Fremont Township food pantry Thursday at the Mundelein Target. Paul Valade/
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