Students from Kootenay Orchards Elementary School got into the Christmas spirit this past week, kicking off the second annual Jingle Bell walk that raised items for the Cranbrook Food Bank Society.
Principal David Standing said the event is a great demonstration of service learning for the students and was inspired by the experience of a staff member who was involved in something similar while working in a different school district.
Preparations began on Wednesday, when students went through the neighbourhood catchment area, posting notices on front doors giving a heads up about the food bank donation drive for Friday morning.
However, in between those two days, the neighbourhood was serenaded with Christmas carols on Thursday evening, as 60 students involved in the Mass Choir event put on a few performances thanks to the help of music teacher Kim Lutz.
Lutz used a trailer for a stage that was parked in centrally located spots in the neighbourhood for the impromptu concerts, which was moved to four different areas while students walked on foot, or were transported by volunteer drivers, to the next carolling location.
“Last night’s carolling was a Christmas tradition that has to continue,” said Standing. “It was just unbelievable.”
Afterwards, everyone retreated back to the school for hot chocolate and treats provided by the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) to warm up.
The food bank donations were collected on Friday morning, and organized at the school gym before Food Bank volunteers came and picked everything up. The student body was divided up to tackle different routes, and candy-cane shaped thank-you cards were left on doorhandles.