This holiday season Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District staff and students have been spreading Christmas cheer and giving back to the community. Here are just a few examples of this generous spirit of giving:
The staff, students, and parents of Albion Elementary generously donated their time, non-perishable food items, money, and gifts for the Friends in Need Food Bank and several families in our community to help make a difference in the lives of others this Christmas.
Alexander Robinson Elementary
This year staff at Alexander Robinson Elementary played Secret Santa with a twist – exchanging toys that would be appreciated by the recipient’s inner child. Then all the gifts were donated to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.
Alouette students joined in the “12 days of Giving” this holiday season, with every day focused on a different theme of giving. Every day during the giving challenge students and staff brought items such as “gifts for teens,” “breakfast foods,” “baby items,” “toys for kids,” etc. The generosity piled up in the school’s front entry as staff and students helped to ensure that everyone in the community has a Merry Christmas.
Edith McDermott Elementary
At Edith McDermott, the Global Citizens Club raised money for Haiti selling Candy Grams, students and families collected food for the local food bank, and the school community supported the Christmas Hampers for families in the community. (Thank you to the staff at the City of Pitt Meadows and Lafarge Canada for their support with this project.) School staff have also been volunteering at Katzie First Nation, helping children with their homework and reading.
A “giving tree” at the school is adorned with tags that represent gift items needed to fill Christmas hampers for two families in need at the school. Staff and student families picked tags to fill the hampers. The leadership students at Hammond also organized a “Supplies for Syria” drive and collected six large boxes of school supplies to give to Syrian refugees.
Garibaldi’s Rebels for a Cause student group led by teacher Carlos Silva raised $972.25 and collected 2349 non-perishable food items for local families and the Friends in Need Food Bank.
Glenwood has been collecting items for the “12 Day of Giving” with all items collected going directly to Glenwood families through the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society. At the end of the 12 Days of Giving, staff and parents volunteered to donate blood though Canadian Blood Services.
Highland Park Elementary
Highland Park students and staff raised more than $1,800 in Christmas hamper donations and 679 items for the food bank. Highland Park students also visited Westbrook seniors’ home to spread some Christmas cheer with a musical performance. Afterwards, students presented the audience members with stockings that were stuffed with gifts donated by local businesses. Divisions 9 & 11 were doing acts of kindness for people in the school and the City of Pitt Meadows. Their twelve days of kindness included: making thank you cards for firefighters and police officers, giving a group photo and cards to the education assistants who work in their classrooms, writing messages of kindness with chalk at Spirit Square, and singing Christmas carols at the senior centre.
Laity View Elementary
Students and staff at Laity View Elementary (pictured at top of page) collected over 550 scarves, mittens and socks for the Salvation Army to distribute to those in need. The school also collected non-perishable items for the food bank. Div. 14 students (pictured below) also adopted a family and created a Christmas hamper, with each student bringing in a $15 gift that they wrapped.
Maple Ridge Secondary
Students and staff at Maple Ridge Secondary participated in a number of special events and fundraisers to spread joy in the community, including: a toy drive, food drive, hampers, 5 Days of Festivus, Christmas Dessert Concert, Elementary Band Concert, Elementary Christmas Dinners, Sr. Band Minstrels with Carols, Dancer of the Year Dance Off, Japanese Christmas Carols, Door Decorating Contest, Staff Christmas Luncheon, Special Ed Christmas Movie Extravaganza, Wings Program Family Luncheon, Student Council School Decorations, and Christmas Themed Community Dinner.
Staff at Riverside Centre – which includes Continuing Education, Ridge Meadows College and International Education – donated cash and adult coats to Alouette Addiction Services in Maple Ridge. The funds will be used to make Christmas stockings for their clients.
Webster’s Corners Elementary
Students at Webster’s Corners Elementary donated 150 Christmas care packages to Caring Place for distribution to those in need.
The project was initiated by the school’s Me to We Club and then the entire school community pitched in to gather goods for the care packages that included toiletries, warm socks and gloves, granola bars and other items.
“It’s really a tribute to the entire school community – not just the kids and teachers but also the parents and relatives – all working together,” said principal Ramin Mehrassa.
Harry Hooge Elementary, Laity View Elementary, Pitt Meadows Secondary, Thomas Haney Secondary and District Student Advisory Council
Harry Hooge, Laity View, Pitt Meadows Secondary and DSAC students made cards for Project HELLO and Thomas Haney and DSAC students spent two days on the Downtown Eastside helping the homeless write cards to their families. Harry Hooge staff volunteered over the holidays to help search the Internet and track down families to receive the cards.
DSAC students from all SD42 schools also collected coins for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.
Harry Hooge students, along with the local Rotary, also created five hampers for families in need and the school’s choir performed at local seniors’ centres.