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placeholder January 19, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA
Catholic Schools Week

The students at St. Theresa School in Oakland engage in spirited competition when it comes to collecting boxes of macaroni and cheese to donate to a food pantry.
Courtesy photo

Mac and Cheese project collects 13,162 boxes

St. Theresa School's fourth-grade class recently led and completed the fourth annual Mac-n-Cheese Service Learning Project themed, "No Fear, the Mac and Cheese is Here." This Service Learning Project focuses on hunger and educates all students about the issue of hunger in the Bay Area.

Once informed through lessons in class, the fourth-grade class strategizes on how to get the word out to our school and parish communities to collect as many boxes of mac-n-cheese as possible for St. David's Food Pantry in Richmond. St. David's provides groceries to more than 500 families each month that struggle to put food on the table. This is a great opportunity for the fourth-grade class, and all of us, to be part of serving the needs of our community.

For 15 days, the students perform skits and give speeches at morning assembly, create videos, pass out flyers after Masses and use the Internet to spread the word about purchasing online and advertising weekly sales on mac and cheese. They also "stir up" friendly competition between grade levels. This year's "friendly" rivalry gave rise to the eighth-grade epic challenge by the "Queen of Mac" aka Mrs. Joyce Holden to the seventh-grade "King of Mac" aka Mr. Ken Maas. Those two classes alone brought in close to 10,000 boxes of donations.

"I loved running and collecting the boxes, putting up posters and counting every day. When else do we get to run around like that in school?" said Micheal Dixon, a fourth-grader.

Fifth-grader Bridgette McEfee said, "We had fun at the same time that we were learning about hunger."

Eighth-grader Jack Austin said, "Two kids in our class had a bake sale and raised over $200 ... that's pretty impressive."

The fourth-grade class was inspirational in its leadership and getting the message out to our parish and local community. They truly carried out Jesus' message in John 3:18 "Our love must be real. We must show our love by things we do."

(Sarah Guthrie is librarian and service learning coordinator at St. Theresa School in Oakland. For more information, visit www.sttheresaschool.org or dial 510-547-3146.)

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