Summer schools support people affected by wildfires

Four VSB summer schools have collected about 100 boxes of food and more than $1,500 in donations to help feed people affected by wildfires in B.C.

The idea started at Nootka Elementary following an initial suggestion from teacher Scott Jensen, then Tecumseh, Waverley and Prince of Wales summer schools also jumped on board the food drive.

At Nootka (pictured above), the efforts of the 860 students, their families and staff resulted in the school having about 50 boxes of food packed a week later to send to Food Banks BC for distribution.

"I have been really impressed by the response," said principal Sharlene Steele, who noted how motivated the students had been to help.

"The food bank wants more food to help the children who have been in wildfires because they had to evacuate from their homes," said student Alina Lim. "It's good to help them so they have the food that they need."

Waverley Summer School (pictured below) collected about 435 kilograms of food in a week to fill about 45 boxes of food. "The generosity was overwhelming," said principal Tamara Dean. "People were piling into the office, bringing in food."

The organizers at Tecumseh Summer School chose to seek monetary donations, rather than food, and they raised $1,314 through a week of collections.

Principal Gavin Landreth said the money would allow Food Banks BC to use their buying power to purchase more food. He said it would also allow foodbanks in the affected areas to buy baked and perishable goods to supplement the longer lasting foods recommended for individual donatations.

"The students were always engaged with it, asking 'how are we doing today' and 'what are we sitting at today'. It was quite moving," he said.

Despite being on intense six-week study programs, students at Prince of Wales Summer School also found time to participate. Student workers went from classroom to classroom every day for a week, collecting six full boxes of food and $376 for Food Banks BC.

"They went beyond what I was expecting," said principal Steve Williams.

Waverley wildfire drive thanks

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