\ROXBURY, NJ - Kennedy School helped Roxbury people and pets in need this Thanksgiving season through three events in November: Two Thanksgiving food drives to support Roxbury Social Services and a Turkey Trot to support Eleventh Hour Rescue.

Thanksgiving Food Drive

Kennedy’s Early Act Club, made up of fourth-graders at the school under the supervision of Tina Leister and Sarah Goodyear held its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive in conjunction with the Roxbury Police Department to support Roxbury Social Services. The Early Act Club is a service club for elementary students and is sponsored by the Roxbury Rotary Club.

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Early Act students made posters and promoted the collection during November. Each grade was given a group of items to collect. Preschoolers and Kindergarteners were given Cup of Soup and Spam to collect while first graders collected Chef Boyardee and canned chicken. Second graders collected paper towels, dish detergent and razors. Third graders collected juice and canned fruit while fourth-graders collected canned vegetables.

Fourth graders delivered their collected items to the Roxbury Police Department on Nov. 20 which was followed by a tour of the police station that tied into their civics and community workers unit of study.

The Roxbury Township Police Department holds an annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to assist Roxbury Social Services. Throughout November, Roxbury residents have the opportunity to donate non-perishable items at the police department.

Roxbury Social Services assists low-income working families, seniors, and people with disabilities, living on fixed incomes. The food pantry exists solely on the generous donations from individuals and local businesses as many individuals and families in the Township rely on social services and the food pantry.

Roxbury Police Department’s Food Drive is a great time to educate children on taking active roles in their community by helping to fight hunger. Thanksgiving isn’t the only time of year that Roxbury Social Services needs your help, it’s all year!. For questions regarding Roxbury Social Services, please contact Janet Wald at 973-448-2026.

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

Kennedy’s Turkey Trot, organized by Physical Education/Health Teacher Heather Roddy, took place Wednesday morning, right before the holiday break. Students and staff donned their Thanksgiving gear while collecting food, toys and cleaning supplies for Eleventh Hour Rescue.

“The classes competed for extra PE time by bringing in the most items or raising the most funds, Roddy said. Progress of the collection was announced each day to help build the momentum and excitement for the Trot. The final announcement of who won the extra time would be made at the end of the day.”

Leading up to the Trot, classes were also able to participate in cross-curricular activities like creating Thanksgiving-themed art projects and learning the Bow-Wow song in music class, both tying into the activity and purpose of the day.

The Turkey Trot itself put the skills and endurance learned in Roddy’s classes to the test. The K-4 students had been working on endurance, health, wellness and sportsmanship since the beginning of the year and after a brief presentation by Tiffany Janajreh from Eleventh Hour Rescue, each grade kicked it up to third gear and ran four laps around the gym while their classmates cheered them on.

Principal Nicole Acevedo shared at the end, “You did an amazing job! I know you have been working so hard in Mrs. Roddy’s class to build up that endurance and I know you have also been working so hard to be such good citizens and members of this community and giving back, so you all need to be very proud of yourselves. You did an amazing job.”

The donated pet food, toys, bedding and cleaning supplies will be delivered to Eleventh Hour Rescue, a non-profit organization that cares for dogs and cats in foster homes, their kennel or their adoption centers. Each dog and cat receives a clean and safe environment, fresh food and water, medical attention, and most important; an abundance of love until they find their forever home. For more information regarding Eleventh Hour Rescue, please visit www.ehrdogs.org.