Students give back

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A group of civic-minded students at St. Joseph School banded together this week to give back to families in their school community.

Students Naledi Ndlovu, left, and Shayla Westgard sort through donations on Wednesday for St. Joseph School’s pop-up clothing event for families of the school on Thursday and Friday. Kirsten Fenn/NNSL photo

The youngsters were in a frenzy folding donated shirts, pants, scarves and other clothing Wednesday afternoon in preparation for a “clothing pop-up event” they’re hosting at the school.

It kicked off Thursday evening and continues during parent-teacher conference today.
“The event is to help to recycle clothing instead of just throwing them away, and giving them to people who need them,” said Grade 5 student Zoi Hill-Gentles, who was among the group of youth preparing the items.

She explained families of students at St. Joe’s were invited to drop by the school during the conferences and “shop” for any donated items they might need.

“All the clothes are free,” said Anna Yakeleya-Grymaloski, who is also in Grade 5.

Students collected both summer and winter clothing for everyone from babies to young children and adults, she said.

Naledi Ndlovu said her Gr. 6 and 7 class came up with the idea for the donated clothing event with the help of a few teachers.

“We wanted to reduce and reuse things, because sometimes people buy new stuff and then sometimes if it doesn’t fit them they throw them away,” said Ndlovu. “We don’t want to waste that. Some people don’t have anything, so we’re trying to reuse some stuff.”

Deanna Zawyrucha, a Grade 6 and 7 teacher at St. Joe’s, was one of the teachers who organized the activity.

“A few of us teachers in a meeting were just discussing how we could help out our school,” she said, adding another teacher had tried a similar event before. “We have a lot of stuff, many of us. And some of us don’t have a lot.”

It seemed like a good way to get gets giving back and learning about reusing the things they have.

“That’s a big thing for me – reusing – just to get kids aware of the environment and recycling in general,” said Zawyrucha.

“They often think of pop bottles and juice boxes and they don’t always think of clothing to be recycled. So it’s a way of reusing and reducing.”