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Middletown Transcript
  • Thanks + giving = a lesson in compassion

  • Two local families will get to have a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings on Thursday, thanks to a lesson some Old State Elementary fifth-graders recently received in multiplication, division and generosity.
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  • Two local families will get to have a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings on Thursday, thanks to a lesson some Old State Elementary fifth-graders recently received in multiplication, division and generosity.
    Co-teachers Robin Moxley and Patricia Bear continued a 20-year Thanksgiving tradition on Nov. 22, when they took their students to the Middletown Acme, where they were able to put their math skills to the test by searching out the best deals on everything from mashed potatoes to dinner rolls.
    After filling their shopping carts, the students took the food back to school, where their haul was divided up and distributed to the families of two impoverished – and anonymous – classmates.
    “It feels really good to be helpful,” explained fifth-grader Jamir Peterson. “We all have food, but some families out there don’t, so we’re helping to be sure they don’t have a rough time on Thanksgiving.”
    Moxley has been helping her students learn that lesson since the early 1990s when she taught at Redding Middle School and it was just a short walk to the Middletown Acme, which back then was located on Green Street.
    “It’s a great way to show the students how they can apply what they’re learning in the classroom to the real world,” Moxley said. “They use percentages, volume and basic math skills to find the best price for each item on their list. But the best part is they also get to help families in need during the holiday.”
    The students began preparing for their grocery store excursion earlier this month when each brought in a donation of $5 or more.
    They then poured over flyers and coupons for their respective teams, each of which was given a shopping list for meat, dairy, boxed food, canned food or dessert.
    “The Stebner-Ellis family, who had been helped in the past, sent us a $200 donation this year,” Moxley said. “They said they were in a good place for the first time in years and wanted to pay it forward by helping us with the next family. Because of their generosity, we were able to have enough money this year to help out two families, with enough left over to buy each of them some additional food and gift cards to help them beyond Thanksgiving.”
    Fifth-grader Lilly Spedden said the best deal she found was two pies for $5, while classmate Norman Labow said he was excited to locate tubs of whipped cream on sale for $1.99 each.
    “That’s two whole containers for less than $4,” he explained. “That’s a big savings.”
    Marissa Bateman said each dollar she and her classmates saved meant they could afford to purchase even more food for the families they were helping.
    Page 2 of 2 - “And whatever is left over, the families can use to buy other stuff that they need, like diapers if they have a baby,” she explained. “It’s fun for us to get out of school and go shopping, and it’s good for the people having a tough time. So, really, everybody gets to be thankful.”
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