Sixteen Barnette Elementary School third-, fourth- and fifth-graders gathered to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches Tuesday, Nov. 30. They are members of the school’s Girls on the Run team this year. Girls on the Run International is a nonprofit prevention program focused on developing self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running and lessons.
As part of their team lessons, the girls discuss what it means to be a part of the community, group leader Joanne Greive said. Greive is a fourth-grade teacher at Barnette and co-leads the Girls on the Run team with parent volunteer Debbie Jackson.
“We want them to realize they are part of a larger group,” Grieve said. “In addition to building each other up, we want them to realize that there are others who are not as fortunate and to build them up too.”
Grieve has led the school’s Girls on the Run team for four years, and each year students choose a community service activity. Past groups have made blankets for the homeless, drawn coloring books for hospitalized children and painted blue paw prints outside of the school. This year the girls chose Operation Sandwich, in partnership with Urban Ministry Center Soup Kitchen. The soup kitchen serves more than 800 sandwiches a day, and the Barnette girls contributed more than 70 to the effort.
“It makes me happy,” fourth-grader Maggie Dilon said, “knowing that all those people that usually don’t get as much food as we do are getting a good meal.”