Learn all about how the food drive started and what grade collected the most cans of food!
All about Tyler Powles @Caliber: Beta Academy:
For the past two years I have mentored groups of students who received a $500 grant to do a service project, which was showcased each year at a Richmond wide event. This year, that grant has shut down and I am fronting the money to allow students to continue their efforts. This year’s group is comprised of one third grader (1st year in group), two fourth graders (1st year in group), two fifth graders (2nd year in group), and one sixth grader (3rd year in group).
Students meet before school once a week to plan their ideas. So far, students have planned the food drive, posted fliers around school, handed fliers out to cars at dismissal, spoken at assemblies, collected and sorted all of the donated food. Students took the 2,138 food items to the Bay Area Rescue Mission to be donated, then toured the classroom, kitchen, and shelter there. Students planned and prepared fresh, healthy lunches for the entire 6th grade as part of hosting a picnic to celebrate 6th grade having donated the most to the food drive. Next, students are planning to operate a healthy breakfast stand for the weeks of SBAC to provide a healthier food option on campus. The goal is for this to be well received and financially self-sustaining once started. They are planning to hold a school wide art contest to help create a poster and/or logo for the food stand.
A recent interview with the group of students who ran the food drive:
Tell me more about the food drive?
“Each grade level collected cans of food and to collect a lot, we turned this into a competition. Whomever collected the most would get a picnic party. This year we collected 2,138 cans of food that we were able to donate!”
Why did you decide to start a food drive?
“It was important to start this because we get to help people. We could do this everyday because there are always people that need help NOW! The first year we started the project, we had a lot of donations and it became a tradition. It takes lots of courage from us to tell the teachers to push students to donate- we made flyers, reached out to parents and encouraged our teachers to promote this in their classrooms. Mr. Powles helped us a lot since we started this project. This year was the first year that the upper school participated as a whole and got the 6th graders to donate 525 cans as a whole!”
Why is it important for students to participate in the food drive?
“It's important to develop our leadership skills all while we help people who are in need. By doing this, we are able to be role models to other kids. There are a lot of homeless people in the community and they don’t have healthy food options that they can afford. When we donate healthy foods, it’s very helpful to them.”
What were some difficulties you encountered while carrying out the project?
“Spreading the word! Encouraging the parents to tell their kids- there was a flyer and we saw these flyers on the floor sometimes. We talked to the teachers individually and really had to take action in every way we could. We even talked to a few parents after school and explained to them why the food drive was important. Another way we promoted the drive was by making a video. We came up with a skit with the help of Mr. Powles and we showed it during our school assembly to make sure everyone participated in the drive!
What is another project you want to run that engages the Caliber community?
"During SBAC testing, we are doing a healthy breakfast stand. Last year we made parfaits, cereal bowls, fruits and other healthy breakfast options. When we gave these out in the morning, we attached fun facts about nutrition that promoted the importance of having a healthy foods. We start testing in two weeks, so we need to come up with a name for the breakfast stand and a menu!"
If you could relate this project to one of our pillars, which would it be?
Lucy: "I think it’s ACT because we are taking action to provide canned foods to people in need.”
Belen: "It was Heart and ACT because it takes heart to help others and if we want to help others, we need to take ACTion.”
Carmen:"ACT because before I joined the group, I didn't know a lot about homelessness in Richmond and now we all get to do service projects that help those in need.”
Harbandna: “I think it's' ACT because we are giving food to people who are in need and who haven't had food for a long time. It's also HEART because we are doing something that helps the community in a meaningful way.”
Gaby: “I think it's HEART and ACT because for me heart means we care and also act because we did a lot for this food drive.”
Jazmin: "For me it’s HEART, THINK and ACT. Before this group started some students thought about the need of people, so we reached out to Mr. Powles to help us start something that could help our community. We acted on this by raising food for something that meant a lot for our community- this all encompasses HEART."