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White Oak Elementary snowmen display to aid food bank

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By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Monday, Dec. 5, 2011

White Oak Elementary is inviting parents and neighbors to share in a community project during this season of giving.

The McKeesport Area school will open its doors Tuesday from 2:30-7 p.m. for its inaugural 'Frosties for the Food Bank' program in which visitors can drop nonperishable food items in a voting box for student-designed snowmen.

Admission is free, and guests can vote with as many canned goods as they can carry. Proceeds will be donated to Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

The school will display at least 20 snowmen created by individual homeroom classes with themes of holiday giving, hometown teams, characters from literature, and classroom lessons.

'This started with three moving boxes,' principal Dr. Tamara Sanders-Woods said. 'Each class took the same three boxes, and they had an opportunity to be creative. They turned these snowmen into whatever they wanted them to be.'

Fourth-grader Vernon Andrews explained how his classroom`s 'Gene-Fros-Ity' snowman relates to a school-wide theme of generosity.

'We had to write meaningful sentences about generosity,' he said.

The principal continued Vernon`s explanation. 'It teaches students to give back without expecting anything in return,' Sanders-Woods said.

First-grader Sarah Mandella said she likes her class`s traditional snowman, complete with a red-and-white-striped holiday scarf.

'Everyone in the class took a turn to do something,' she said. 'It was really fun.'

Sanders-Woods said 'Frosties for the Food Bank' was a true school effort in a district-wide initiative to help those in need this holiday season.

'It`s been a season of giving around here in the McKeesport Area School District,' she said.

Teacher Denise Haselhoff said the school is very proud of all who participated in and facilitated 'Frosties for the Food Bank.'

'It`s nice that we can all work together to create something that will help people,' Haselhoff said. 'These kids are bringing the community into our school to donate.'

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