Byron's Babbles

Leading & Giving In The Community

FullSizeRenderIn his final and 52nd lesson in The Disciplined Leader, John Manning (2015) talked about giving back. I am a big believer in this as an educational leader. We must take care of our students, families, and communities. Many of our families have needs that must be met for learning to happen and I believe we, as a school, have an obligation to do what we can. Can we take care of everything? No. But we must do our part. We have two wonderful staff members, Carol Sepaniak and Lacy Spears that have started a program to aid Hoosier Academies Network of Schools families.This is in keeping with our Core Value of img_2032-1building strong community relationships for success.

“Your responsibility as a leader is to personally demonstrate your commitment through your actions inside and outside your organization.” ~ John Manning

Hoosier Helpings Food Pantry began through a collaboration to sponsor a canned food drive. A contest was created for K-6 and 7-12 Hybrid students to incentivize them to participate. The class that brought in the most cans won a pizza party and the second place winner won a donut party. The canned food drive was promoted to benefit Hoosier Academies’ families through the FAST Outreach Program. The canned food drive was such a success, that steps were taken for Hoosier Academies to open its own food pantry called Hoosier Helpings.

img_2003-1We decided to visit the Center Grove Care Pantry to observe how another school corporation runs a food pantry. The visit helped us to develop pantry guidelines, check-in procedures, and a food box distribution list. An application was submitted to Hope Pascoe with Gleaners in order to become a school-based pantry. Our application is currently under review. To become a community partner with Gleaners, Lacy Spears and Carol Sepaniak obtained their food handler license through ServSafe. Another requirement is to have cold storage units. A freezer has been donated and we are currently looking to secure a refrigerator. As we are waiting to hear from Gleaners, several events have been held to benefit the Hoosier Helpings Food Pantry.

Events are listed below:IMG_0400

  • $25 Starbucks gift card given to the teacher to bring in the most canned food during on site professional development.
  • Canned food donation at Bowl to Enroll where staff and families could bring donations to the event.
  • Personal Hygiene drive for both students and staff.
  • Partnership with Aldi for Summer Reading Program “Read to Feed.” One can of food will be donated to the Hoosier Helpings Food Pantry for every book that is read.
  • NJHS and NHS students worked in the pantry organizing shelves, painting freezer and creating signs.
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