Kids helping kids at CFES

Chadds Ford Elementary School students and volunteers sort food donations being sent to their sister school, Mitchell Elementary School in Philadelphia. The school also sent warm clothing, toiletries and other needed items.

Almost three years ago, Chadds Ford Elementary School became a sister school with Mitchell Elementary in the Kingsessing section of Philadelphia. That came about after a CFES parent, Sara Krausz, read an article about how in need Mitchell students were.

According to Krausz, all of Mitchell's students live below the poverty line, and many of them struggle with hunger. She contacted people at Mitchell to see what she and her family could do to help. But, word spread and the CFES community took up the cause with Krausz.

Eagles fever is everywhere, even in the Chadds Ford Elementary School cafeteria. 

Now, instead of taking just one day — the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service — to serve the community, Chadds Ford Elementary School works throughout the year to take care of their sister students at Mitchell, collecting food, toiletries, warm clothing and other essential items.

The school's efforts also included books. When CFES raised $2,500, education book publisher Scholastic Corporation agreed to match funds so the kids at Mitchell could get books, too.

The school runs five to six collection drives per year for Mitchell, something CFES Principal Shawn Dutkiewicz appreciates.

"It's been an amazing project," Dutkiewicz said Monday while students were sorting and packaging the latest batch of donations. "Over the last two-and-a-half years, rather than doing a standalone Martin Luther King Jr. activity, we try to make it part of our everyday practice. Our kids are learning community service, kindness toward others and appreciation of what they have already on a regular basis, not just one time a year."

The project is part of the district's aim of focusing on kindness. A short YouTube video on Unionville High School's adoption of a Texas middle and high school hit hard by Hurricane Harvey and on the Chadds Ford Elementary School project is here.



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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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