Dublin Community Preschool
Project teaches lesson in sharing, helps fill pantry's shelves
Most children learn to share toys with siblings and friends.
Dublin Community Preschool is taking the lesson a step further by teaching students how to share food with people in need through the Dublin Food Pantry.
Julie Turner, preschool director, said the partnership between the groups seemed natural because they both occupy space at Dublin Community Church, 81 W. Bridge St.
"We're located in Dublin Community Church which is where the food pantry is," Turner said.
"I came in here last March as director and thought, 'we're steps away. Why not do something with them?' "
Throughout the school year, the preschoolers will bring in food, and once a month take that to the Dublin Food Pantry where they'll weigh it and then stock it.
"In addition to learning about the food pyramid and looking at different food groups, they're bringing in that food, delivering it, weighing it, and logging it," Turner said.
"It becomes meaningful to give back and share."
Students last week took their first collection of cereal, oatmeal and other grains to the food pantry.
Before the work began, Turner explained to the students that there are hungry people in Dublin that need food. Sharing food with those people would make the students feel happy, she told them.
One group of students added 24 pounds of grains to the pantry last week.
The preschool visited the pantry four times over two days to make sure each of the 270 preschool students had a chance.
Students from the preschool are the youngest to help out, said Nancy Johnson, the pantry's executive director.
"This is pretty much it for this young age," she said.
"We had Cub Scouts come in and clean and bring in toys," Johnson said.
"We have older groups from Columbus Academy and we had Eagle Scouts raise $600 and put up shelves in the warehouse, but this is the youngest group we've ever had."
Helping to instill sharing and community service into the students at a young age is a good idea, Johnson said. "It's great. It ties into everything," she said.
"To have an understanding at an early age that there are people who need help in Dublin and that we need to share with them is good."
Especially when new families that need help from the Dublin Food Pantry increase by 40 to 50 each month, Johnson said.
This month students will bring in canned fruits. Turner said she compiled the list of monthly needs based on the biggest needs from the pantry.
"It's a nice lesson that we don't just share blocks and trucks in the classroom with friends, but with people we don't know as well," Turner said.
Dublin Community Preschool has been operating since 1975 and Turner said her goal is to get the school more involved in the community.
"This is a rebirth year for Dublin Community Preschool," she said.
The school held an informational meeting with Dublin City School District Superintendent David Axner this week to inform the community about Issue 48 the school district's combined bond issue and operating levy that will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The school is also planning to hold an informational safety session during National Playground Safety Week in the spring.
"For us, it's how can we be more than just walls around our children," Turner said.