Woodcrest service project funds go to local Meals on Wheels

Ask second-grader Zanna King what was the hottest selling item for Woodcrest’s citizenship service project and she looks at you in amazement.

Parent volunteer Jay King helps students while Luis Jauregui checks out a bookmark he purchased. Photo by Elyse Kaner
Parent volunteer Jay King helps students while Luis Jauregui checks out a bookmark he purchased. Photo by Elyse Kaner

“Obviously, it’s the suckers!” she says, as in what kind of a question is that?

Zanna, along with her father Jay King, a parent volunteer, last week were minding a temporary store set up in front of the school’s office as part of the service project.

Kids with coins in their tightly clenched fists were eagerly awaiting a chance to buy either a sucker, pencil or bookmark created by the second-graders.

The store ran out of Tootsie Pops not once, but twice during the 20 minutes before school started May 9, the second day of the four-day campaign.

Woodcrest’s second-graders, about 100 students, or as staff prefers to call them, friends, are in the third year of running a citizen service project, a student target on their report cards.

This year the industrious students raised $575. Proceeds will go to the local Meals on Wheels.

“Our budget is really tight right now,” said Eve Frank, executive director of Meals on Wheels of southern Anoka County. “We’ll use the money to help clients who can’t afford to pay for their meals.”

In its first year of the Woodcrest service project, students donated funds to purchase toys for kids at Unity Hospital. Last year, in a similar project, the second-graders raised $380, funds they donated to the Animal Humane Society.

“It’s a good opportunity to feel what it’s like to give to other people,” said Becca Gangl, second-grade teacher and co-organizer of the project.

Students also learn about how to be a good citizen and how to work together, she said.

Second-grade teacher Amy Reiland enjoys seeing the third-graders’ excitement about the project.

“They remember it and they support it,” she said.

As part of the project, students created posters and made announcements over the school public address system. Some visited classrooms to speak to classmates and increase awareness of the cause. Others decorated bags to give to Meals on Wheels recipients.

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In addition to Gangl and Reiland, second-grade teachers whose classes also participated in the project are Katie Coulter, Acacia Sieling and Karisa Marquardt.

Students earlier this week had planned to walk en masse a few blocks up the road to Unity Hospital to deliver the funds to where the local Meals on Wheels is based.

Zanna was looking forward to her second day of selling goods to her pals.

“I liked helping get the younger kids what they wanted,” she said.

What was the biggest thing she learned from the project?

“You should always have suckers,” she said.

Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]