Warwick's Turkey Toss Supports the "Village"
As one of the oldest schools in the Central Bucks School District, the traditions running in Warwick Elementary School are both longstanding and rewarding. The school’s multi-tiered holiday giving efforts are one of many ways they give back to the district community during the school year.
The best known may just be Warwick’s annual “Turkey Toss,” under the direction this year of new physical education teachers, Kelly Langlois and Kristen Leuthe. At a donation of $2 to participate, or whatever families could afford, students during the week of December 5 took part in the friendly competition to see which class could score the most baskets – all tracked on a live-running Excel spreadsheet. The class with the most points at the end of the week received the ‘Turkey Trophy’ in their classroom and, more importantly, bragging rights for the year. This year's winners were Emma Unsihuay’s class, who won the K-2 bracket with 71 buckets, and Chad Endy’s class, who took the grade 3-6 bracket with a total of 182 baskets!
“This is a really fun way to get students engaged in our giving effort,” says Warwick Principal Amy Adelman. “Even as large as the district is, we’re a family. We support one another and we’re lucky to have families and students that are supportive in making everyone feel at home.”
The money collected from the toss is used to buy turkeys and other groceries to support families in the district during the holidays. And the Turkey Toss is just one of several programs aimed at giving back to the community.
This year, each homeroom class was assigned a specific food item such as cereal, peanut butter and pasta to bring in over the course of the month for the Holiday Food Pantry. Along with the food donations, Warwick also set up a giving tree in the main lobby with snowflake decorations that had a generic gift suggestion such as Lego sets, board games and stuffed animals. Families then go and purchase gift items and place them in donation boxes in the school’s main atrium. The tree also holds a collection box for hats, mittens, gloves and scarves.
“At Warwick, we have four pillars we stand by: respect, responsibility, cooperation and excellence,” says Adelman. “This is a great way for students to demonstrate that they're respectful and excellent citizens.
“Being in the main office, I get to see a lot of the students deliver their donations, and just seeing in their eyes that they're excited to do their part to help someone in need is magical.
She also is moved by the emails that pour in from families on the receiving end of donations.
“This takes a village,” she says. “This is not my doing. This is an undertaking of the entire building. From staff members to the custodial staff to just about everyone here. In a world where a lot of bad things are happening, it feels very special that our community is supportive of each other.”