Wednesday November 30, 2022 | COLWOOD, BC
SOOKE SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS | by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Tonight about 200 teenagers at Royal Bay Secondary (RBSS) were part of a robust team of organizers, parents as drivers, and other helpers who had the goal of bringing in 10,000 food donation items in one night.
Driving around the Colwood area collecting non-perishable food donations door to door and bringing them back to the school — that was the first part.
Collecting and sorting food:
Inside the main common area of the largest high school on Vancouver Island, students from all grades (9 to 12) sorted the incoming items into boxes as non-expired and expired.
Then the counted items were taken to separate areas. At evening’s end the usable items will have been loaded onto a truck rented by the school, destined for the Goldstream Food Bank.
The two leadership teachers who led the event were Brian Hobson (a PE teacher, in his fifth year at RRBS) and Robyn White (a dance academy teacher, in her seventh year at the school which opened in 2015).
Royal Bay Principal Mike Huck was also on hand.
By 7:30 pm the count was 6,400 items and counting. The counting would go on for another few hours.
There was pizza and other food and beverages, and many people doing many things to keep the evening running full tilt.
Lots of organizing:
Why do they undertake this massive event? “The students feel part of the community, and see a need to help out. They feel connected to something with each other,” said Hobson.
“The students also have courses where volunteer hours can be counted toward the course,” said White.
Hobson and White started organizing in October. “It took two full months to plan, prepare and organized,” they told Island Social Trends this evening, over the busy noise of the excited students.
That involved organizing drivers, renting the truck, finding enough boxes to hold the incoming food items, and promoting the event to the community for donations.
Three schools in sequence:
In previous years (pre-pandemic) the 10,000 Tonight event had another layer of being a friendly competition with the other two schools in School District 62.
But after discussion among the three schools, it was decided that it was too challenging “to align everything”, for getting the same messaging in place. In previous years “it confused the community,” said Hobson and White.
Belmont Secondary School in Langford held their food drive on November 10 to help support the Goldstream Food Bank in the mid-fall season, as food prices have continued to move upward all year. There is no time that food banks don’t need food.
Tonight’s collections by RBSS will go to the Goldstream Food Bank tonight.
Edward Milne Community School in Sooke is holding their food drive now up to December 9, by collecting funds for the Sooke Food Bank from November 28 to December 9. They are also hosting an online auction on their Facebook page.
One cause, three communities:
Three schools in sequence but toward one cause seems easier and more focussed on the real purpose of the community initiative, rather than organizing a competition across time and space.
Today SD62 Superintendent Scott Stinson told Island Social Trends today that “all three high schools are participating and working with their communities in ways that they feel is best”. He added: “It is also driven by our student leaders in those communities.”
Last night Stinson included mention of the high school food drive in his report to the board.
Middle school food drive:
Based on the success achieved by the high schools, SD62 said today that the middle schools will be launching their own initiative tomorrow, “modeling the inspiration from the secondary students”.
===== RELATED (SD62):
SD62 staff can dip into $25K cost of living fund (November 29, 2022)
Robust turnout for Sooke School District hiring fair (November 22 & December 1, 2022)
Critical incident response in SD62 schools (November 19, 2022)
New Langford middle school opens at 74% capacity (November 14, 2022)
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is a professional news portal at islandsocialtrends.ca . Fully online since mid-2020, Island Social Trends emerged from the extensive groundwork of previous print publications in the west shore: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).
Since 2008, journalist and editor Mary P Brooke has taken a socioeconomic lens to the news of the west shore and south Vancouver Island region, including BC provincial news, and national news impacts.
Ms Brooke has been covering news of School District 62 (SD62) at the board and committee level — attending nearly all of their meetings since 2014. She was a school trustee candidate (SD62 – Belmont Zone / Langford, Colwood, Metchosin and Highlands) in the October 2022 election.