It was a win-win last week at Briarcliff Middle School.
Students across all grades donated food to Feeding Westchester and in exchange, received tickets to spend on items and food or to participate in fun activities at the after-school Thanks & Giving Boutique.
Prior to the boutique’s opening, students brought in canned or packaged goods to donate in their home base classes. They received one ticket for every can or package that they donated.
Students could then use the tickets at the boutique, which took place last week after school. They used their tickets in exchange for the following:
- A slice of pizza, which was made at the school by students in the Greenhouse Club. The pizzas included fresh herbs that the students grew at the school.
- Baked goods with a rainbow theme, baked by students in the Gay-Straight Alliance Club.
- A bracelet with a positive message, made by members of the Bear to Bear Club.
- A recipe book with international recipes, created by members of the International Club.
- A suncatcher, made by members of the Nature Club, created out of old CDs.
There were also activities that could be exchanged for a ticket:
- Creating a handmade bookmark or gift tag, run by students in the Art & Clay Club.
- Making jewelry with retired teacher Mary Yulo, who brought in beads.
- Making an ornament out of a piece of wood, facilitated by science teacher Julie Gallagher.
The Briarcliff Singers Club provided entertainment by singing several songs during the event.
Both the food drive and the boutique were organized by teachers Robert Iovino, Jessica Loprieno and Jessica Dubin.
“We wanted students to experience the concept of exchange, rather than buying something with money,” Dubin said. “The more cans and packaged goods you donated, the more tickets you received.
“Feeding Westchester has pumped up their request for food donations, as they are seeing more and more people in need this season,” she added. “We were able to gather 700 pounds and we received a letter from one of the coordinators at Feeding Westchester which stated that our donation will be able to provide 585 meals.”
Dubin was pleased with the student attendance.
“The event was very crowded and almost everyone at the school participated one way or another,” she said. “I was happy to see that everyone was well-behaved.”
Eighth-grader Grace Freeman baked pizza, along with her younger brother, Max, and other members of the Greenhouse Club.
“I’m also in the Gay-Straight Alliance Club, so I baked a Funfetti cake with sprinkles at home and “sold” it for five tickets,” she said. “We ended up selling all of the pizza and baked goods, so that was great. I thought the event had a good vibe.”
Seventh grader Olivia Woerner agreed the event was a big success.
“I am in Bear to Bear Club, so my friend and I made 22 bracelets at home using my own beads, and we “sold” them all,” she said. “The event was really successful and fun. The pizza was really good!”
“This event highlighted the strong sense of community we have here at the middle school,” said Iovino. “It was a great way for teachers and students to share time together while making a difference in others’ lives.”