Students help fight hunger locally while studying global impacts

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published December 14, 2016

 Clawson Middle School teacher Michelle Haight’s sixth-grade students prepare 300 ham and cheese sandwiches for the homeless.

Clawson Middle School teacher Michelle Haight’s sixth-grade students prepare 300 ham and cheese sandwiches for the homeless.

Photo by Deb Jacques

CLAWSON — Students from Michelle Haight’s sixth-grade class spent the morning Dec. 6 in the Clawson Middle School cafeteria preparing hundreds of sandwiches as part of global hunger day in the building.

“We’re focusing on global hunger awareness, and we are making a local difference with Capachin (Soup) Kitchen in Detroit,” Haight said.

The children quickly and efficiently made 300 ham and cheese sandwiches and were pleased about what they were doing.

“We get to help the homeless,” said student Malik Lester.

Student Dylan Kajy said he thought that what they were doing was important.

“I think it is cool because we’re helping people,” he said.

“We’re helping the homeless so they can eat and feel comfortable with themselves,” added student Preston Derifield. “And it helps keep them safe — that too.”

Haight delivered the sandwiches to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen that afternoon.

She said that every class that day was focusing on global hunger. In math, kids learned about the economics behind feeding a nation. In English, they read about global hunger myths. In social studies, they explored geographic and policy challenges that impact food sources, and in science they learned about and health and nutrition.

The day dedicated to hunger and awareness happened in conjunction with the district’s season of awareness and giving.

Haight said that she has done outreach programs before as the Students Against Destructive Decisions program adviser.

“So, I was excited to see how this would work on a large scale, and obviously it is a huge success, so we are going to do much more of this” she said. “It definitely is something that is a districtwide initiative, is the community connection.”

Haight said she also likes to see the students come together in a non-class setting, especially in a schools-of-choice setting like Clawson Middle School, where not all of the children are within a neighborhood walk.

“To have that sense of community is so important, because they don’t necessarily see each other outside of school, so it’s that much more important to create a sense of school community,” she said.