Kootenay Orchards’ Jingle Bell Walk supports local food bank

Third annual event sees students carolling around the neighbourhood, collecting food bank items

Kootenay Orchards Elementary students serenaded the neighbourhood on Thursday evening before going around to nearby houses and collecting items for the Cranbrook Food Bank the next day as part of their annual Jingle Bell Walk event.

In it’s third annual edition, the Jingle Bell Walk featured four stops around the school’s catchment area on Thursday night, where students travelled around on a decorated flatbed trailer, stopping in each one to bring some Christmas spirit to the neighbourhood.

The next day, the students went out in the morning and collected cash and food items that were stockpiled in the school’s gymnasium to be donated to the Cranbrook Food Bank.

The Jingle Bell Walk is now a Kootenay Orchards Elementary tradition, brought up by Anneli Schadeli when she left a school district in the Lower Mainland to take a teaching position in Cranbrook a few years ago.

To kick things off, the students deliver notices to houses in the school’s catchment area the day before caroling [Wednesday], just to provide notice for food bank item collection on the third day [Friday].

“Year Three, a huge success,” said Principal David Standing. “We’re just loving it. Of course, there’s going to be Year Four, Year Five, Year Six; it’s going to become quite a tradition and we hope that over the years, people will just know to get that food out on that Friday. We’d like to support the food bank and just instilling in our kids that social responsibility that is so important.”


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