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Project Seed Shows Generosity Has No Boundaries

The students at Bon Air Elementary may be the youngest in the district, but they’ve already learned a lesson that will last a lifetime:

Generosity has no boundaries.

It’s a lesson they learned through their participation in Project SEED, a pilot initiative that provides food to students in need at Fort Crawford Elementary in the New Kensington-Arnold School District. When Bon Air Principal Amy Lenart learned of the project, she immediately felt compelled to get involved.  “It really struck me, how close this school was and how much need there was when we’re just a few miles up the road,” Lenart said. “We try to do something (charitable) throughout the year. We felt like this being so close to home – my students will probably be developing friendships with these students. And we know how giving our Bon Air families are.”

Project SEED – an acronym for Something to Eat Every Day – was created by retired New Kensington-Arnold administrators Joanne Cecchi and Ruth Carson.  Children who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches receive bags of food on Fridays – enough for two breakfasts and two lunches over the weekend.  Bon Air conducted a three-week donation drive that ended in mid-February, Lenart said, an effort that netted $1,060 and two dozen boxes of nonperishable food. She noted at least one kindergarten student emptied the contents of her piggy bank.  “Fort Crawford is K-3 just like we are,” Lenart said. “We really think it’s important that the students understand what it means to give. And when we can give so close to home, it takes it to another level.”

Vicki Quinn had a unique perspective on Project SEED. A second-grade teacher with a child who attends Bon Air, Quinn was able to pitch in both at home and in her classroom.  “My family was excited to participate because it is such a worthwhile cause,” said Quinn, who credited Lenart’s enthusiasm for the donation drive’s success. “And my students understand how kind it is to help people in need. It makes them feel good about themselves when they are able to do so, so it’s a win-win situation.”  While students were allowed to wear pajamas to school as a reward for their participation, Lenart said no such incentive was necessary.  “It’s really a wonderful project. It was one of the best things we’ve done.”

To donate or learn more about Project SEED, go to www.somethingtoeateveryday.org.

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