Behind the Wellington Express, Spirit Committee members Maddi Neuman, Jenna Mergl, Olivia VanVliet, Jillian Reynolds, and Grace Brownlee. In front of the train, Addison Willms, Ava Sider, Dillon Mertz, Valerie McTaggart, and Ivy Bullen. VOICE PHOTO

School has its own take on the traditional holiday drive


Students at Wellington Heights Elementary School matched the charitable urges present throughout the community during the holiday season, collecting a sizeable number of donations for Pelham Cares.

“We wanted to do something a little different,” said Christina Haining, a teacher at the school and one of the co-ordinators for the project.

“With ‘Twelve Days of Giving,’ we asked for a different item on each day of the drive.”

Haining said that the school reached out to Pelham Cares before beginning to ensure that the encouraged donations were items that were actually needed.

“One thing that we tried have donated was pet food, since Pelham Cares indicated that it was really required,” said Haining.

“The kids’ participation has been incredible. Each class had a bin that we added to the train, and so many of these bins are overflowing,” she said, referring to the arrangement in the school’s main foyer. One of the school’s teachers had made a steam engine out of cardboard, and each of the boxes served as freight cars on the Wellington Express.

In addition to the other teachers involved, many students school helped with the initiative.

Grade 8 members of the Spirit Committee—akin to a student council—did much of the heavy lifting, while younger students who are part of the “Kids Care Club” also took part.