Education

Easterly Parkway Elementary School students give back during Helping Hands Fair

Local students give back at annual Helping Hands Fair

The 10th annual Help Hands Fair was hosted at Easterly Parkway Elementary School as a way for local youth to help give back to local organizations.
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The 10th annual Help Hands Fair was hosted at Easterly Parkway Elementary School as a way for local youth to help give back to local organizations.

A mission at Easterly Parkway Elementary School is to help give back.

And it’s a goal that’s instilled in teachers, students and the school’s community.

On Wednesday night, the school hosted the 10th annual Helping Hands Fair — an event sponsored by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization, and run by teachers and their students.

Andrea de Carle’s second-grade class once helped make birthday bags for local food banks. It was a project inspired by some of her students who were served by the food bank.

This year, they helped make flowers for Hearthside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

“It’s just showing them the benefit of giving,” de Carle said.

Other fair activities included making valentine cards for seniors, pillows for patients at Mount Nittany Medical Center, reading activities in support of Centre County PAWS and more.

Second-grade teacher Colleen McCracken said the planning behind the fair was a team effort, which included teachers helpingbrainstorm philanthropic projects for students to participate in.

Each year, the fair suggests an admission fee, which doesn’t necessarily mean a monetary donation.

This year, guests were asked to bring in clothes and other items that would be donated to St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store.

Funds from a lemonade stand and bake sale will also go toward the Women’s Resource Center.

“These are the kinds of organizations that the kids and their families are familiar with and that benefit our community,” McCracken said.

de Carle said the Helping Hands Fair was started at Easterly Parkway based on ideas from other schools in the State College Area School District.

“So it’s not just us who do this,” de Carle said. “It’s a group effort and an effort recognized by the district.”

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