weaver lake fmscOn any given day at Weaver Lake Elementary, third grade students may be studying crayfish, documenting the life cycle of a monarch butterfly, or learning about phases of the moon—not to mention helping combat hunger around the globe.

Since the 2007-2008 school year, third-graders in the elementary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) magnet program in Osseo Area Schools have supported Feed My Starving Children’s hunger relief efforts by working at their school store. It’s a partnership that began at Edgewood Elementary and has continued at Weaver Lake, with the store providing students more than just an opportunity to practice math and data collection skills. Third grade teachers Leanne Peterson, Janet O’Connell, Melissa Pedersen and Marie Burke have constructed the experience to help students also learn the value of helping others.

A District 279 Foundation grant helped the store get up and running in 2007. Each year, students donate the store’s profits to Feed My Starving Children, which provides meals specifically formulated for malnourished children. When this year’s profits were tallied, the nine-year donation total reached an impressive $10,250.

“We are thankful District 279 Foundation supports innovative and creative ways for teachers and schools to support their students,” Peterson said. “Their grant of $500 has had far-reaching implications and has helped many students be courageous and confident as they engage in real-world learning that lasts a lifetime.”

Feed My Starving Children representatives Nancy Dierdorf and Adam Hanson were at Weaver Lake on May 31 to receive the donation and present the school with a handcrafted metal bowl made by an artist in Haiti—one of the many countries the organization serves. 

PHOTO: Nancy Dierdorf (left) from Feed My Starving Children gives Weaver Lake Elementary third grade teacher Leanne Peterson a plaque commemorating the school's milestone donation to the organization. Peterson is holding a handcrafted metal bowl made by an artist in an area of Haiti that Feed My Starving Children serves.