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‘Showing Gratitude’

Fletcher Elementary School students and staff trotted around the block Tuesday to celebrate their contributions to the St. Susan Center. A basketball shootout at Southwestern will also benefit the local soup kitchen. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

Local schools are in the giving spirit.

Students gathered outside Fletcher Elementary School on Tuesday for the second annual Turkey Trot with some sporting paper turkey hats. Along with several administrators dressed in full turkey outfits, students celebrated another successful food drive for the St. Susan Center.

Maria DeJoy, Fletcher principal, was also dressed up in turkey garb for the second year in a row to celebrate her students’ efforts to collect food for those in need.

“We just made a general announcement that this is Thanksgiving time and we wanted to give back to our community and we decided that St. Susan’s will be the one that we will donate canned goods and non-perishable goods to,” DeJoy said.

Shortly before the Turkey Trot, St. Susan Center representatives collected the donations that filled seven boxes.

The Turkey Trot aspect features the students “trotting” around the school as a way to commemorate their efforts. DeJoy said the drive assists in teaching the importance of giving back.

“It gets our students thinking about not only themselves and our school community but reaching out to the full community and helping out others by showing gratitude and just the spirit of giving,” she said as Fletcher students made their way around the school.

Fletcher’s Jamestown Public Schools neighbor, Persell Elementary School, also participated in a food drive for the St. Susan Center. The Persell Student Council and Honor Society helped raise more than 2,000 items. The annual haul is typically around 500 items schoolwide. However, one homeroom helped raise 1,006 items to contribute to the cause alone.

“Great job, Persell, helping your local community,” the district’s Facebook page read.

In the Southwestern Central School District, the Lady Trojan Basketball program will be hosting a Thanksgiving Shootout on Friday and Saturday to contribute to the St. Susan Center. Southwestern will be holding a food drive to collect 1,000 cans to donate to the local organization. Students and school officials will also be collecting items at Raymour and Flanigan on Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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