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Students & Staff Raise Record Dollars
More than 2,191 families will have meals on Thanksgiving due to the efforts of Wexford Elementary School and PNC Bank. PTO members, parents, administrators, teachers/staff, students and community members helped raised more than $16,431 at Wexford Elementary. PNC Bank matched the funds and contributed a little more than $16,431 to raise a whopping $32,8620 for the KDKA Turkey Fund this year.
“Each year, we look forward to helping our neighbors in need, teaching our children about generosity, and reinforcing the value of reading every year,” said Wexford Elementary School Principal Rick Walsh. “This is a project that has students learning inside and outside the classroom. Not only are they reading, but they are participating in an outreach project.”
The fund has been providing families in need in the area with turkey dinners on Thanksgiving for more than 20 years. Wexford Elementary School has been raising money for 13 years and raised almost $233,000 with the help from PNC Bank and National City Bank.
Wexford kicked off the program on Nov. 1, 2017 and wrapped it up on Nov. 17, 2017. Students participated in a “Read-To-Feed” program in which students participated in a read-a-thon. Children worked to secure contributors to sponsor their reading. Sponsors could be parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends, etc.
Principal Rick Walsh, PNC Bank Representative Jim Balouris, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Chief Development Officer Traci Weatherford-Brown, reading specialists, teachers, staff, parents and students hosted this special event.
All of the money collected and donated during the read-a-thon Turkey Fund goes directly to the purchase of food for families in need. Area supermarkets have agreed to provide the food at wholesale cost.
On average, these Thanksgiving dinners cost $15 each. In Wexford’s 13 years of participation, the school has helped feed more nearly 15,500 families during the holiday seasons.
The school hosted a wrap assembly to announce the Read to Feed results. Dr. Walsh thanked Mrs. Elise Scott and Mrs. Shelly Verszyla, who served as committee chairs and took the lead on the project.
Third graders Keira Scott and Carson Verszyla, second grader AJ Guiffre, first grader Nyejah Ressler and kindergartener Julia Rippole helped present the check to the food bank.
In conjunction with the program, the school invited special guest readers into the building. They brought in special books to read to the students. Guest readers included Superintendent Brian Miller, Northern Regional Police Officer Mark Wolfe and Meteorologist Jeff Verszyla just to name a few.
See the Read to Feed 2017 Video.