DOBSON — Several Surry County schools have teamed up to help provide food for the needy.
Four elementary schools are working with Surry Central High to make large batches of vegetable beef soup that will be provided to two local non-profit groups.
Students in Surry Central’s Foods I and ll classes worked Tuesday with kids from Rockford and Dobson elementary schools to prepare the soup, which was ladled out into quart-size freezer bags. The frozen soup went to The Shepherd’s House for meals this winter.
On Wednesday, Mountain Park and Copeland students traveled to Dobson to work with the high school classes. Those frozen soup bags are going to The Children’s Center of Surry County.
Surry Central principal Celia Hodges said she believed that the ingredients came from money that was raised and donated to the cause.
The young students who came together on Tuesday were members of the Elementary Battle of the Books (EBOB) teams from Rockford and Dobson, said Stephanie Bode, media specialist at Dobson Elementary.
“The teams have been reading several books on the required EBOB list this year in which the characters deal with issues of homelessness, adoption, foster situations and even orphanages,” said Bode. One of these is “Runaway Twin” by Peg Kehret, where a 13-year-old girl leaves her foster parents and finds herself homeless in searching for her sister.
“It was important to find a way to make the connection that these themes happen everywhere, even in our own community,” Bode said.
Mary Boyles, the executive director of The Shepherd’s House in Mount Airy, has spoken to elementary school children about what the center does to help turn lives around.
“It was great for our students to learn that life is all about thinking of others, showing kindness and remembering that each one of us is someone special,” said Bode.
Hodges said it was Bode who reached out to Sabrina Wilmoth, the advanced foods teacher in charge of the Foods II class, with the idea for the project.
“For our students, it was fantastic to see the collaboration,” said Hodges. The high school students were teaching the younger kids to cook. That included all the preparation it takes beforehand with hygiene and getting the cookware and ingredients ready.
“The look in the younger kids’ eyes was priceless,” Hodges said. “They seemed to be a bit star-struck, for lack of a better word.” The elementary children hung on every sentence the teens said to them.
It was a good event from start to finish, she believed. The kids could see the end result and knew they had taken part in something meaningful.
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