B-B Elementary partners with CASA for annual community service project

By on February 10, 2020
Byron-Bergen Elementary School Student Council officers. Photo by Amanda Dedie

Byron-Bergen Elementary School Student Council officers. Photo by Amanda Dedie

On January 31, Byron-Bergen Elementary School announced their annual community service project at a school-wide assembly. Special guests Ashley Greene, Executive Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Genesee County Family Court Judge Eric R. Adams joined the student council to discuss community service and the specific services CASA provides. 

“The children that CASA helps have to leave their homes suddenly, and usually do not have some basic items,” said Student Council President Maryn Meier. “We are going to change that.” 

Genesee County CASA is a non-profit organization that trains and supervises volunteer advocates for children at risk of being removed from their homes, or who have already been placed in foster care. The Byron-Bergen Elementary School 2020 community service project is to fill 100 drawstring backpacks with items such as toiletries, journals, activity books, socks and underwear, and stuffed animals. The backpacks will be donated to CASA and distributed to children being placed in foster care. 

“A child going into the foster care system is not a planned event and so, quite often, children do not have the opportunity to pack their own belongings, and might show up in a foster home with just the clothes they were wearing that day,” said Greene. “This certainly can be frightening and confusing at the time for them. And what you’ll be providing them is a bit of comfort and sense of belonging.” 

Each grade level has been asked to collect 100 items. UPK will collect stuffed animals and toys, kindergarten will collect underwear, first grade will collect socks, second grade will collect toothbrushes and toothpaste, third grade will collect coloring and activity books, fourth grade will collect deodorant, fifth grade will collect body wash and loofahs, and sixth grade will collect notebooks. The goal for completing the project is February 14, the 100th day of school. 

“Together, we will fill 100 bags to help kids in this area,” said Maryn. “We have two weeks until our 100th day, so we need to get to work!” 

In past years, the Byron-Bergen Elementary School has raised funds for the Genesee County Sheriff Department K9 unit, collected flashlights and batteries for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, and donated socks for the homeless. 

“I am extremely proud of the kindness and empathy demonstrated by our students,” said Byron-Bergen Assistant Principal Betsy Brown. “I know that this community service project will make a big impact in Genesee County and continue to expand the sense of community responsibility within our district.” 

“We rise by lifting others up,” said Greene, “and my hope is that you always continue to be kind to one another. Thank you again for everything that you are doing for our program.” 

Provided information

Completed bags are added to a display case to tally of project progress. Photo by Betsy Brown

Completed bags are added to a display case to tally of project progress. Photo by Betsy Brown