CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts (December 11, 2023) – For the sixth year, second grade students at Harrington Elementary School are spreading the holiday spirit to the local community through their Share the Warmth donation drive.
“It’s a community service project that helps us explain to kids a little bit more about wants and needs,” second grade teacher Janet Hoffman said. ”And we’re supporting a local charity, which is really important to us.”
The students are asking families, staff and faculty members to bring in new hats, mittens and gloves and place them in the large giant gift box in the school lobby. Once the collection period is over, the items will be taken to The Wish Project, a North Chelmsford charity that supports families in need in the community.
Mrs. Hoffman said the second-grade students have been enthusiastically involved in the advertising of their event.
“They’ve made posters. There’s one on my door. There are others around the building,” she said. “They went to each classroom, gave a poster and told everybody about the service project they’re doing. And they’ve been doing announcements each morning where they remind everybody to bring them in.”
Mrs. Hoffman said the initiative doubles as a teachable experience.
“We have some really good conversations about what it’s like to really need things and not be able to afford to buy them,” she said. “We try to tie it in to that whole social aspect of being able to look out for other people in the community. … We try to get that empathy going with them at a young age.”
Last year, Mrs. Hoffman said the students collected 447 hats, pairs of mittens and gloves. The goal this year is to exceed that number.
“We have a goal and we try to increase it each year,” she said.
Mrs. Hoffman said the initiative would not be possible without the help of fellow second-grade teachers Beth Coddaire, Steve Wurtzler and Kaitlyn Nagle.
“We’ve worked together on this project for all of the six years since it began,” she said, adding that the team will be personally delivering the donations to The Wish Project.
The Share the Warmth drive began on Dec. 1, and will run through Dec. 15, though Mrs. Hoffman said the end date may be extended to the following week.
Brand new hats, mittens and gloves of all sizes can be brought to Harrington Elementary School and dropped in the box, making sure all mittens and gloves are attached in pairs.
About Chelmsford Public Schools
The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential. This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students. For more information, please visit www.chelmsfordschools.org.