Class learns valuable lessons in giving by aiding those in need

Friday, December 15, 2006

BERRYVILLE -- Giving up their traditional gift exchange and holiday party so they could help others, a group of fourth-graders pooled their money together and learned several valuable lessons along the way.

The group of 25 from Kelly Swofford's classroom at the Berryville School traveled to Price Cutter last Friday to spend their money on Christmas dinner and decorations for families in need.

"Instead of the gift exchange, instead of helping ourselves, we decided to help others so they could have a good Christmas," explained fourth grader Kylee Sigmon.

"We had $136.08 to give people food," added fellow student Zac Waller. "We learned how to price and what to get with the lowest money."

Zac said it was his first time to comparison shop. "It was pretty hard. We had to learn about unit price, prices, tax and ounces," he explained. "We used calculators to get the biggest deal for the money.

"I'm happy we did it, because some people will now have Christmas dinner."

Kylee said she was better equipped than Zac because she had grocery shopped with her mom in the past and had paid attention.

"I did learn that you have to really compare unit prices and ounces to get the best price," she said of her latest shopping experience.

The students, accompanied by school staffers Kelly Swofford, Marjie Sparks and Kerry Bishop, had $22 remaining after making their selections and going through the checkout stand.

"The kids did so well that they had $22 left," said a proud Swofford. "Plus, Price Cutter gave them $25, so we shopped more!"

Their carts were filled with frozen turkeys, instant mashed potatoes, canned green beans, cranberry sauce and canned gravy, along with boxed stuffing, hot chocolate packages, juices, turkey pans, tabletop trees and table cloths -- all to make Christmas a little brighter for others.

"It makes me feel good helping someone else," commented Kylee. "I've always had a good Christmas and I wanted that for someone else."

This was the second time Swofford students opted out of a classroom celebration to help others instead. The food and decorations were donated to the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank for distribution purposes.

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