by: Mary Ann Mitchell, Public Relations & Communications Coordinator
Students in Carla Kinsey’s fifth-grade class at Woodland Elementary School are not only doing something good for the community, they are gaining some practical real world experience in doing so.
Since October 1, the students have been conducting a sock drive with a goal of collecting 1,000 pairs of socks by the end of the month.
While Kinsey is overseeing the project, it is the students have complete ownership of it.
“They are the ones who brainstormed and came up with what we would need to have this drive take place,” she said, noting there are teams of students that oversee advertising of the drive to a team of students that handle collections and teams that count the socks and another that sorts them.
“They do it all, and we have even talked about how to get the community involved, from talking to their parents about putting it on social media to even asking their neighbors if they’d be willing to donate.”
As of last Friday (October 15), the class had collected 661 pairs of socks. But with donations that came in this week, Kinsey believes that number is now approaching 800. The drive runs through October 31.
“We wanted to be done before the season of giving begins and where we could get this out before the cold sets in and wouldn’t interfere with other things going on in the school or community,” said Kinsey.
Kinsey, who is in her fourth year at Woodland and in her 20th year with District #7, says she is a service-minded person and enjoys giving back and helping the community. Prior to joining the Woodland staff, she taught at Lincoln Middle School, and in her last five years there, she would do a drive similar to this with her classes.
“I hadn’t had the chance to do this at Woodland until now. And it’s been such a challenging year, so I wanted to do something.”
Kinsey thought a sock drive would be easy for 10-year-olds to handle, and as a class, they did some research and found many credible websites that said the number one need right now for people without a home or those with home or clothing insecurities is socks.
“They are doing a phenomenal job with this project and it also gives them some ownership and has developed their problem-solving skills.”
Case in point, Kinsey said the first week they collected socks, there were four students who were counting, but didn’t know whose box of socks it was. The students figured out quickly they needed a system in place and immediately reached out to Kinsey for some post-it notes to label those boxes.
“There is a lot of learning that takes place with this drive and I think that’s really important.”
The students are eyeing a reward of having a pajama day at the school if they collect a 1,000 pairs of socks, but they also understand the value of why they are collecting those socks.
“We are doing this for people in need,” said Elsie Lewis, one of the fifth grade students in Kinsey’s class. “It means a lot to be able to help them.”
Classmate Anna Wagahoff agrees.
“It’s fun to be able to help people in need. There are some people who are less fortunate and we can help them have a better life.”
In addition to the reward for collecting 1,000 socks, the classroom at Woodland that collects the most socks will get a pizza party.
Kinsey said it hasn’t been decided yet where they will donate the socks, but has been reaching out to some local places and will let the students make that final decision.
Anyone wanting to donate socks can do so by dropping them off at Woodland.
Woodland Elementary School
59 S. State Route 157
Edwardsville, IL 62025