BRENHAM, TX — The winter storm had a huge impact on food insecurity across Texas. The storm stripped houses of electricity and left grocery stores with bare shelves. But Brenham ISD students set their community up for success by spreading kindness and nonperishable food before the storm hit.
At Alton Elementary, Ms. Roznovsky and Ms. Shelnutt's third grade classes were inspired by the core value of kindness to immerse themselves in a food donation drive for their community with the Bread Partners of Washington County.
This is the teachers' third year coordinating an initiative like this with their classes.
”This year it fell on the week of Valentine's Day," said Kaylee Roznovsky. "Which happened to be the Friday before we had our big freeze."
It was a true coincidence that the classes focused on food insecurity in Texas right before things took a turn for the worst due to the winter storm.
The students were excited to be involved in this initiative, bringing a friendly competition to the mix by collecting and counting cans daily to see who had collected the most.
”First time we counted them, we were split into groups and we got the most cans in our group,” said Matthais Countouriotis, a student from Ms. Roznovsky's class.
Between the two classes, students collected 833 items by the end of the week, surpassing their expectations.
Roznovsky says although no one was prepared for what was to come, all the students were thrilled to give back.
“They knew that it was going to a cause that helped deliver to people who could not go to the grocery store or get groceries for themselves," she said.
With the help of parents, the students were able to hand deliver these goods to their community just as the cold snap came in.
“It made me feel great because I knew I was helping the community around me,” said Countouriotis.
Ms. Shelnutt enjoyed watching her students taking action and says she's proud to be a part of shaping the leaders of our future.
"Our core value of kindness is important to instill in our leaders," said Sarah Shelnutt. "In our gateway program, we want to foster leadership within our students,”
Both teachers continuously challenge their students to look for ways to be kind to their classmates and their community.