Ascension Public Schools put an emphasis on the “giving” in Thanksgiving this year by hosting and participating in events, such as canned food drives, to help those in need. Beta, 4-H, FFA and FCA clubs at most schools organized drives to collect goods from students.
While everyone celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends this year, the schools and clubs stayed busy collecting and counting goods to give to organizations such as St. Jude, Knights of Columbus, Magnolia Assisted Living, local food pantries, supply drives and local churches, according to a news release.
“It is so impressive that our students are exhibiting our district’s core values of teamwork, leadership, service and learning through organizing these drives and giving to those in need,” Superintendent David Alexander said. “We know that this helps them experience more than just school and more than being just good in academics. These experiences raise awareness about the value of contributing to those around them. Hats off to these students and the adults that support and lead them to pursue these heartwarming and worthy activities that ultimately enhance the lives of others.”
Among the seasonal service activities were:
- The Lowery Elementary School 4-H Club held a canned-food drive for a Donaldsonville Church.
- Lowery Middle School students worked with local stakeholders to adopt families in need.
- Donaldsonville High Beta and Tiger-to-Tiger clubs participated in the annual Donaldsonville Downtown Development District Avenue Stroll for community service hours. Students helped out at the ticket booth, organized lines for Santa pictures and kiddie rides, and dressed as cartoon characters to take photos with the children.
- Dutchtown Primary School gathered donations of new socks for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
- The Spanish Lake Primary School 4-H Club directed a canned-food drive.
- Prairieville Middle School collected 3,000 essential items to be delivered to police officers affected by Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida.
- The Dutchtown Middle School 4-H club held a canned-food drive for the needy.
- Dutchtown High School agriculture students and FFA members donated 3,771 cans to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
- The Junior Beta Club at Central Primary School collected 2,691 food items in a free dress-down contest.
- Gonzales Primary 4-H held a Ronald McDonald House supply drive.
- Duplessis Primary School Beta Club held a canned food drive for Our Lady of Holy Rosary Catholic Church and its food pantry.
- The Pecan Grove Primary School 4-H Club accepted donations of Life Savers and delivered more than 500 rolls of candy to local police and fire stations, as well as overseas to soldiers.
- The G.W. Carver Primary School 4-H organized a food drive in which classes competed to bring the highest number of food items. Louisa Palmer’s kindergarten class won the competition by donating 1,475 items, including more than 900 cans of food from a single student. The food items were donated to St. Theresa’s food pantry and the Fellowship Center in Gonzales.
- Administrators at Central Middle School in Gonzales made sure to give thanks to their staff this year by providing hot chocolate for them in the chilly weather, while 4-H students participated in “Real Life Superheroes Serving Others,” a food drive benefiting the First United Methodist Church of Gonzales Food Pantry.
- Gonzales Middle's Junior Beta Club donated canned goods to the St. Theresa Food Pantry. Students also created Thanksgiving cards for residents of Magnolia Assisted Living, and Shirley Lewis and St. Landry United Methodist Church participated in a November gift card donation.
- East Ascension High held a food drive competition between classes. EA also partnered with the Louisiana Probation and Parole Officers Association to adopt several families in need, and the Fellowship of Christian Students read to pre-k, kindergarten and first-grade classes at Pecan Grove Primary.
- The Galvez Primary 4-H held a canned-food drive for Carpenter’s Chapel Food Pantry.
- The Lake Elementary 4-H donated 61 boxes containing 3,294 items, according to the Lake Elementary Lion’s Pride Facebook page.
- The Sorrento Primary 4-H sent more than 500 cans of food to the Knights of Columbus Food Pantry.
- Lakeside Primary collected 1,972 items for the St. Amant Knights of Columbus Council 6389 and distributed goods to local residents.
- The St. Amant Primary 4-H and Beta Club collected enough food to make 35 baskets to feed families in the community.
- Galvez Middle contributed to local food banks by accepting canned goods for admission to its talent show on Nov. 16.
- The St. Amant Middle Beta Club conducted a schoolwide food drive and collected a little more than 1,000 cans for the Knights of Columbus.
- The St. Amant High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes successfully collected goods for Operation Christmas Child, the FFA collected 971 pounds of food for the Catholic Daughters Association with Holy Rosary Church, and the school hosted a communitywide canned-food drive that collected more than 1,200 pounds of food for families in need at St. Amant High.
- Early College Option for Ascension Public Schools collected food items for those in need and created baskets of goods for families.