“Capturing Kindness at Sand Creek” was the theme of Sand Creek Elementary School’s annual family Showcase event April 11.
Wintry weather outside did not stop children and their parents from crowding into the Coon Rapids school for the two-hour event.
Over 500 students attended the event, according to Kelsi Plattner, administrative intern at the school.
“It was a great success for our students and families,” Plattner said.
While there were games and a magic show for the students and their younger siblings and parents were encouraged to visit their child’s classroom to take home their art work, there were also activities specifically tailored for the kindness focus of the Showcase.
In one half of the gymnasium, children were invited to create a kindness hand project by decorating a drawn outline of their hand.
The Hand of Kindness, as it was called, was designed to promote kindness at Sand Creek through helping, serving and giving and being kind to one another.
On a practical level, students and parents were asked to contribute food or make a monetary donation to Hope 4 Youth.
This is a new homeless youth resource center that opened in Anoka in early March.
It is not a homeless shelter, but Hope 4 Youth offers clothing, food, hygiene products, sleeping bags, blankets and a place to take a shower, do laundry and be given advice and direction to resources for young people under the age of 24 who have few or no places to turn to for help.
According to Karrie Schaaf, the homeless youth and families liaison for the Anoka-Hennepin School District, there were 535 homeless youth attending District 11 schools at the end of February.
Schaaf was among those receiving contributions in Sand Creek’s foyer area outside the gymnasium where the Hope 4 Youth donation station was set up.
She was delighted by the response, Schaaf said.
“This so wonderful,” said Barbara Novinska, Sand Creek Elementary School volunteer services coordinator.
“We have been overwhelmed by the donations. It’s amazing.”
According to Plattner, $546.31 was raised for the organization plus many pounds of food.
Students making a donation to the Hope 4 Youth program had their names placed in a drawing for a new Kindle or one of 10 grab-bags full of prizes.
Comedy magician Brodini from St. Paul presented three shows to large crowds, using volunteers from the audience as part of his presentation.
There were also games with prizes set up in three areas of the school – one in the media center and two in hallways – and there was also a section of the gymnasium set aside for children to select a free book to take home.
Snacks and lemonade were served in the cafeteria.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]