For some elementary-school students, there are few rewards greater than a pizza or ice cream party. But after a group of 4th grade students at Allen Academy in Bryan initiated a food drive, their incentive to help the homeless turned into a life lesson they'll never forget.
“After we finished our study of the Family under the bridge what did we learn? What did we study?” Ms. St. Clair asked her fourth grade class.”
“We started researching food insecurity, poverty and hunger and how that affects people in their life,” said 4th grade student Sarah Smith.
It's not every day you hear 10-year-old's speaking so eloquently and passionately about world hunger; issues that many would imagine are far beyond their youth. But that's not the case inside Mrs. St. Clair's Language Arts and Social Studies class.
"Ian what's the state capital of Florida? Can you come write it on the board?" asked St. Clair.
After researching hunger and homelessness; St. Clair says the students felt compelled to make a difference.
“When they pulled up the county and learned 20 percent of the county experiences food insecurity annually, they were really surprised,” said St. Clair.
The students made their move after learning there are no borders or boundaries when it comes to poverty.
“I didn't know how many people were in poverty,” said one student.
“When we were researching, I was tearing up because when you hear that people are actually homeless and actually like this and they don't have a home to go to, it's really sad,” said Smith.
"People say, 'oh that's never going to happen to you', but it can,” said student Lanie Rodell.
“This is a global problem, sure, but bringing it back to what you can relate to. Does it happen in your community? And does it happen near or in your environment?” explained St. Clair.
At the end of October St. Clair's class kick-started a local food-drive.; and in only ten days the students collected more than 1,000 pounds of non-perishable items and canned food.
"You feel really good inside you when you donated a box of cereal, or even something from your lunch,” said Smith.
At the end of this week, the 4th grade class will be taking a field trip to the Brazos Valley Food Bank in Bryan to drop off their donation.
“It just feels good to just help out and be a person like that where you can help other people in need even if you have plenty of food,” said another student.
The food drive is held annually at Allen Academy. The food drive competition isn't over just yet -- school officials say this week the 5th Grade class began their food drive challenge.