Santa Cruz Montessori Students Fight Hunger
It all started with a news story showing mile-long lines for food banks around the country in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Santa Cruz Montessori teacher Kristin Tosello shared this news with her 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Junior Class. She also streamed videos from the Second Harvest Food Bank that showed that one in five people in Santa Cruz County and one in four children in Santa Cruz County face food insecurity.The images and the statistics hit home with the Montessori students, shocked at the number of hungry people in their own community. But instead of simply feeling sad and helpless about the situation, they decided to take action and organize a walkathon for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Students teamed up to create a page for the walkathon on the Second Harvest Food Bank website and told all of their friends and family about their plan and how to donate. They then set a goal for $2,250, which is equal to 9,000 meals and surpassed that goal before they even started walking.
April 16 was the big day, perfect for walking—sunny but not too warm. The 17 students of the Junior Class, masked up and ready for the challenge, walked to the nearby Cabrillo College track, and spent the next three hours churning around the quarter-mile track. Each set their own speed, just trying to go round the track as many times as possible. One of the students racked up an amazing 12 miles, while all the students walked more than 5.75 miles. “It was fun to walk around talking to friends for most of the morning,” one student commented. “After a while it started to get a bit tiring, but we reminded ourselves of our cause and walked on.”
The result? The students raised a whopping $6,542 for Second Harvest and learned a valuable lesson in effecting change–every step counts. The class agrees: “Looking back on this experience, we are very proud of our efforts and that we made a difference in our community.”