Looks Bright: Lakewood 4-H gives back

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 12, 2014

By Monique Roth

LULING — A toy drive, food drive and recycling campaign are just a few of the things keeping Lakewood Elementary School’s 4-H Club busy these days.

The fourth and fifth grade Luling students participating in 4-H, which is sponsored by LWE talented theater teacher Danny Pitre, have made their club’s focus recycling education and promotion.

Educating their peers of the school’s GO GREEN! Campaign was the first step for the club this year, 4-H President Emily Adcock said.

She said since the school has a recycling bin on campus, 4-H members decorated and supplied boxes for each homeroom to collect paper products.

Pitre said the efforts are done “to help our student body learn that one person can make a difference when we decide to reuse, reduce and recycle.”

Every week the boxes are emptied into the school’s bin, Emily said.

Tobi Flair, an assistant principal at Lakewood Elementary, said projects like the 4-H recycling program are important because “community service opportunities forge well-rounded students” and offer “an opportunity for everyone to get involved and have a stake in supporting the community.”

Lakewood 4-H Vice President Kyle Doucet said he loves participating in the club projects, and 4-H Secretary Jasmine Hill said she likes to help students learn about recycling.

But recycling isn’t the only thing on the club’s agenda, as the group wrapped up a St. Jude Christmas Toy Drive Friday, with every student who brought in a new toy receiving a blue jean pass.

Pitre said the toy drive was done in conjunction with a Hahnville High School student’s senior project, which aimed to collect toys for the hospital after a family member had been treated there.

LWE students donated nearly 100 toys to the drive, and similar success is hoped for in the club’s other drive, this one for food.

Pitre said 4-H members are asking families to bring a food donation to Wednesday’s third-grade Christmas program and Thursday’s band and choir concert. All donations will benefit the United Way of St. Charles and the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Specifically requested are jars of peanut butter, travel-sized toiletries and canned tuna and chicken.

Emily said she recently learned one jar of peanut butter can make 36 sandwiches, and one person would need four sandwiches a day to be properly nourished.

If each of Lakewoods 600 students brought just one jar of peanut butter, she said, then 14 people could be fed for an entire year.

“It’s key in the social development of children that they get involved in community-based organizations,” Flair said, adding in doing so students learn empathy, compassion and awareness. “It’s also future-supportive because it creates civic-minded characteristics in kids.”

Anyone wanting to donate to the food drive or any of the LWE 4-H club’s offerings can contact Pitre at 985-785-1161.