During the holiday season, giving back to those in need is on top of many people's mind. And this year a KELOLAND elementary school has proven you're never too young to make a difference.
Ann Beesley's second grade classroom at Brandon Elementary holds story time. But for the past few weeks, her lesson has gone much deeper than words on a page.
"An attitude of gratitude, that's what we try and teach them at Brandon Elementary as well as Mr. Beesley at Robert Bennis Elementary: be grateful and also be involved the community," Ann said.
She and her husband, Larry Beesley, who is a third grade teacher at Robert Bennis Elementary in Brandon and also the mayor, have a friendly competition each year to see whose class can raise more money for the Brandon Area Food Pantry. While it may be fun for them, they say it really comes down to the students.
"Well, we were talking about like if people don't have money, we give it to other people who don't have money so they buy like food and clothes if they run out of clothes or if their clothes rip," second grader Eric Jensen said.
Jensen is in Mrs. Beesley's class. This year his class won and now Mr. Beesley has to buy his wife's class Blizzards from Dairy Queen.
"Really excited," Jensen said.
"And I love that we won. And there you have it," Ann said.
"Most of the kids in town know either her or I with the two elementary schools and they know that I'm the mayor. So this is my way of teaching them that, you know, you can be involved even though you're a second grader or third grader," Larry said.
Brandon Elementary also had a school-wide fundraiser for the pantry. They raised around $7,500, which is something one second grader is pretty proud of accomplishing.
"Yeah, that's a big number," Jensen said.
The Beesleys say the students did an excellent job of getting community support and raised much more money than they thought they would.