Montessori Kindergartners make a difference

 
Jen Wicka
Updated 5/1/2019 7:34 AM
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  • Blessings in a Backpack coordinators (from top left) Lauren Stephani, Barb Binverse and Ann Heineman pose with Northwest Suburban Montessori Kindergartners during the annual NSMS Kindergarten service project.Karly Giannelli

    Blessings in a Backpack coordinators (from top left) Lauren Stephani, Barb Binverse and Ann Heineman pose with Northwest Suburban Montessori Kindergartners during the annual NSMS Kindergarten service project.Karly Giannelli

Kindergartners at Northwest Suburban Montessori School in Arlington Heights recently participated in their annual service project benefiting local children in need. School administrators partnered with coordinators at Blessings in a Backpack to create an opportunity for the students to learn about the importance of giving back, and to have a direct and positive impact on children in the Northwest Suburbs.

Blessings in a Backpack is a nationwide non-profit organization which strives to mobilize communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry. As their service project, NSMS Kindergartners gathered last week to learn about childhood hunger and to pack nutritional food bags for 50 students at Lincoln School in Palatine. Blessings in a Backpack coordinators then distributed these food bags at Lincoln School, which are then taken home by qualifying students on Friday afternoons to help ensure they have access to food over the weekend.

"It was a very positive experience for the students and it was really fun to see how excited they were to participate. It's so important for them to learn about the needs of others in their community and that they can make a difference," said Blessings in a Backpack coordinator Ann Heineman.

To kickoff the service project, coordinators discussed the program, how it began, who the food would benefit, and why it is important to help children in their community. They also read a book titled "Maddi's Fridge" by Lois Brandt, which helped to explain the complex issue of childhood hunger in an age-appropriate manner. The Kindergartners were then tasked with selecting and packing at least 9 food and drink items for each food bag, all of which were donated by NSMS parents and families. The children also took the time to make encouragement cards to place inside each donated bag of food, with the hope of further brightening the day for a local child in need.

This annual service project is an integral part of the Kindergarten program at NSMS and helps empower students to make a positive impact on the lives of others by showing them tangible ways they can become involved in their community.

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