Here are eight of the 53 gingerbread houses made by sixth-grade students this year at Fridley Middle School to raise money for SACA (Southern Anoka County Assistance).
It's the 18th year teacher and coordinator Jean Andrews has organized the effort. It began Nov. 28, when parents and teachers baked and assembled the houses. Then on Dec. 1, 200 students decorated the houses in the middle school cafe.
Andrews explained in an email:
Rick Johnson from SACA was in our math classes giving a kick off talk about the importance of the work with comjmunity and servce our children were doing. The math classes [ran] a little competition to raise the $300 needed seed money to begin the project. Students also donate all of the goodies and candies that go on the houses. On Dec. 14 I select randomly 20 houses to bring to the Rotary Club for the December meeting. Rick Johnson, SACA, will be the guest speaker this year at the meeting. ...
I have a small book I have written that records some of the history of this project over the past 18 years. I am sure we have donated at least $10000 over those years. It is my labor of love and giving on behalf of our school and our students. It have grown and evolved over these many years ... it is critical community and service work that teaches our children to reach our to others at all times. With our 52% poverty rate in Fridley, many of our students are recipients at SACA, no doubt. Nevertheless, they are still able to share their time, talent and treasure with those in need.