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    Posted June 26, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Impact Your World

    Teachers Go Out of Classroom, Help Community

    Most students can't wait for a break. No homework, sleeping in, going on vacations. But some students dread it. One school in particular, Cooke Elementary School in Virginia Beach, has a significant population of homeless students who rely on the school to eat. While schools are closed during breaks, they could go hungry.

    Some teachers decided to get out of the classroom and into the community to feed these less fortunate kids. Amy Harris, with the help of Laura Beth Lawver, put together baskets to deliver to families in need before Spring Break this year.

    With donations and assistance from local churches, nonprofit organizations, businesses, friends, family, and anyone willing to help, 24 families unsure if they'd have food during this year's break were given meals for the whole week.

    Not only did Mrs. Harris put the baskets together, she went to the homes and hand-delivered the food, connecting with the struggling students' families firsthand. Some families were in trailer parks; others were living in cheap hotel rooms. Many of the kids slept on couches or on the floor.

    Mrs. Lawver, who also leads other organizations supporting the homeless community, says there is a large group of students in need in the local school system that most people don't even realize exists. And Mrs. Harris, a student-teacher at the time, says "teachers should focus on helping students in every aspect, not just their test scores."

    And for the summer, the longest break of the year, the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters Little Neck Circle are joining in after hearing what the teachers were doing. The group packaged and delivered nearly 100 bags of groceries to the families wondering if they would be able to afford food for their kids this summer.

    These two teachers consider their job more than grades and curriculum. It goes beyond the classroom. They believe schools and communities both succeed when they join forces to solve problems. Through the work of Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Lawver, and other donors like the CHKD, students will make it through their breaks this year with food on the table.
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