Jack Kemp breaks record


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November 10, 2016 12:00 AM

L'il Santas Jack Kemp Community School students Brevin Wallace, pre kindergarten, and Daman Singh, Grade 6, lead the way in the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox parade, where students from the school bring their filled boxes for donation. JAIME POLMATEER LLS PHOTO

Kids fill 85 Operation Christmas Child boxes

It’s a record breaking year for Jack Kemp Community School’s yearly donation to Operation Christmas Child, with students bringing in about 85 shoeboxes in total, up roughly 12 from last year’s 63.
For those who don’t know, Operation Christmas Child encourages people to fill shoeboxes with small gifts for less fortunate children around the world.
The boxes were picked up from Jack Kemp on Nov. 3 by local Christmas Child coordinator Ken Hastings, where Grade 5 student Ethan Dyck explained what was happening.
“(We were) taking down and grabbing all the shoeboxes for other children, so they could have something to play with like pencil crayons, paper and a stuffed animal,” said Dyck.
“So a different kid can get it and play with it, so they don’t have to play with, like, garbage, so they can play with a toy.”
Denise Block, targeted skills teacher at the school, said students took the last few weeks to prepare in their classrooms and brought in items from home to put in the shoeboxes and send to children around the globe.
She added that last year’s number of 63 boxes was a record in itself, so to break that record this year with 85 was thrilling.
“It’s an effort across the school, so our Serving Our Society team, SOS team, are the ambassadors for it, they go and educate each classroom and then each classroom is given two boxes initially to fill, one for a boy and one for a girl, then any additional materials they add to extra boxes,” Block said.
“Part of our initiative is to not only develop a local understanding of need in our community, but a global understanding, and so we’ve prepped our SOS team to understand what it looks like in other countries and Mr. Hastings has also come to each classroom and showed pictures of where the shoeboxes are going and some of the situations that those children…(are in) so they have a better understanding of what the children have and don’t have.”
Block said the shoeboxes are likely going to children in South America and Ukraine this year.

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