Kindness team delivers a brighter holiday

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Gifts line the back room of a large classroom at CBPA. School social worker Mary Nettleton says they will donate to 28 families this year. Letters go out to letting families know if they are in need they can be put on the list.
“Sometimes families are nominated by others,” said Nettleton. “That can be very emotional when they find out they will be receiving help.” (Photo by Mindy Mateuszczyk)

Twenty-eight local families will have a little brighter holiday thanks to Champlin Brooklyn Park Academy students. The school’s Kindness Team, comprised of a dozen fifth graders, sponsored the “Making Spirits Bright” campaign, which challenged the student body to donate food and gifts.

Champlin Brooklyn Park Academy students collect gifts and foods to donate to local families in need. From left to right are: Georgie Stammer, Tobi Osiberu, Sloane Collins, Amir Drissi, Vincent Holt, Alaina Hendren, Saleemah Bah and Belle Narragon. (Photo by Mindy Mateuszczyk)

Champlin Brooklyn Park Academy students collect gifts and foods to donate to local families in need. From left to right are: Georgie Stammer, Tobi Osiberu, Sloane Collins, Amir Drissi, Vincent Holt, Alaina Hendren, Saleemah Bah and Belle Narragon. (Photo by Mindy Mateuszczyk)

The team wrote out a list of items and decorated “trees” made out of paper posted on a bulletin board. Students could choose items from the tree to go out and buy to donate. In just two week’s time, students from the school had donated enough food and gifts to line the entire back wall of the school’s large nature exploration room.

School social worker Mary Nettleton began the program more than 15 years ago when she came to work at the school. She said about eight years ago they saw the need for help around the holidays rise. It’s stayed at that higher level since then.

The Kindness Team was formed last year to get students more involved in a grassroots effort to promote character building. The team meets throughout the year to coordinate other efforts such as a penny drive for Leukemia, to work with and mentor younger students on kindness and to put together plays to present to the student body on these qualities.

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