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Making a Difference: CE kindergartener collects 100 items for food pantry

Making a Difference: CE kindergartener collects 100 items for food pantry

Conshohocken Elementary School kindergartener Leo Pluschke recently used a school assignment as a means to help his community by collecting 100 items of food for the Colonial Neighborhood Council (CNC).

The 100th day of school usually occurs sometime in the month of February, and lessons involving the number 100 often occur in kindergarten classrooms as students learn their numbers. In Erin McMahon’s class, students were challenged to complete a 100-Day Project. Usually this entails making a poster using 100 stickers or building something with 100 Legos, for example. Mrs. McMahon said Leo went above and beyond by turning his project into one that both helped him count and also taught him the value of helping those in need.

Leo originally wanted to do something like his older sister, Nina. Nina’s 100-Day Project was also service-oriented, and involved collecting money to plant 100 trees. Leo’s mother, Lauren, encouraged him to think of a different service-oriented project.

“We had donated to the CNC earlier this school year, so when I suggested we collect 100 food items, he was very excited about the idea,” she said.

The two planned a day to go shopping at Aldi and Leo began by counting out 10 boxes of pasta, and 10 boxes of macaroni and cheese (because those are his favorite foods). Then they added to their shopping cart so they had a total of 10 cans, jars, and boxes of 10 different non-perishable food items, reinforcing a bit of the math needed to get to the number 100. 

Once he collected the food, he made a poster to illustrate the items his family had purchased. He wrote out all the numbers from one to 100 above each item.

“It was hard to write some of the numbers on the poster,” he said. “But if I made a mistake (Mommy) had (white out) so I could fix it.”

Before school one day, Leo and his father made the donation to the CNC, carrying the boxes and bags of food to the pantry door. This was one of the fun parts of the project, he said.

“I felt happy,” he said about dropping the items off.

His recommendation to other students who want to organize a collection for those in need?

“Have a grown up help you,” he said.