by: REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Many Lake Grove fifth-graders helped with a food drive, including , from left, Mimi Jeandheur, Briana Gutierrez, Jacob Matlock, Dustin Bittner and Natalia Schessl.Lake Grove Elementary students peered through a window into another country and served as models of philanthropy last week.

Students filled several donation barrels full of nonperishable food for the Oregon Food Bank, and they also enjoyed a Parent Teacher Association-funded enrichment program called Culture Travel, in which volunteers bring to life a new country each REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Lake Grove students listen to volunteer Lisa McAuley after watching an educational video during the Culture Travels event last week.


Fifth-graders at Lake Grove organize an annual food drive for the Oregon Food Bank, and the generosity of the children amazed school building engineer Alan Rudy, who helped the kids with their charitable project.

“These kids, they have a lot, but they give a lot, and that really blessed me,” Rudy said. “It touched the heart.”

Several fifth-graders were among the leaders who spearheaded the fundraising effort, including Natalia Schessl, Mimi Jeandheur, Briana Gutierrez, Dustin Bittner and Jacob Matlock.

“We’re lucky that we have a roof over our heads,” Jacob said.

Briana said for her it was a question of fairness that some people have food and some do not.

“No one should be left out,” she REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Lake Grove students filled several barrels with food for Oregon Food Bank.

Through their school, the children also went on a field trip to the food bank to learn about hunger and how to lend a hand, Mimi said.

“I think this made us a little more responsible knowing other people are having a better life and are not being hungry because we’re helping out,” she said.

Dustin said rallying other students and working on the project wasn’t easy.

“We’ve put in a lot of work to fill those bins of food and make it so there’s less hungry people in Oregon,” he said.

Natalia said students regularly visited other classrooms to inspire other students to give.


Students aren’t the only ones devoting energy to Lake Grove. Volunteers helped make the Culture Travel experience possible for kids, taking them to an England-themed room featuring a tea party complete with cucumber sandwiches and chocolate, an educational video, a learning game involving faux Stonehenge monoliths, a chance to meet the Queen of England and a chance to pop one’s face through the opening of a queen’s guardsman REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Volunteers, from left, Karen Chi (tea steward), Cherie Bates (the Queen of England) and Mendy Miller (police officer) pose as characters during the Culture Travels event at Lake Grove. Daniel Craigs cardboard likeness also made an appearance.

Fifth-graders Emily Joyce and Emma Norris each partook of the guardsman photo opportunity and said they enjoyed the event.

“It’s really cool, the decorations,” Emily said. “I’ve never been to England.”

Emma said she learned not all people in the home of Big Ben speak in the same manner.

“When you go to England, at one place and at another, it can have different accents,” she said.

Parent volunteer Cherie Bates got some pointed questions while posing as Queen Elizabeth II.

“The kids will ask me how old I am and: ‘Are you the real queen?’” said Bates, although most kids realized she’s too young to be the queen REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Lake Grove students enjoy an English tea, for which volunteer Karen Chi served as tea steward.

Volunteer Lisa McAuley said the event the kids enjoyed last week took about six months to plan, involved borrowing props from Lake Oswego High and Lake Oswego Junior High and a committed Culture Travel Committee: McAuley, Bates, Mendy Miller, Elisa White,

Karen Chi, Anne Dougherty, Elizabeth Winter, Brenda Dascombe, Jennifer Pancoast, Jenny Thom, Lisa Danna, Karen Alati, Steve Jurney and Curtis Waterbury.

“It really has been a labor of love and the event couldn’t take place without the hard work and dedication of our wonderful parents,” said McAuley, who added verisimilitude to the event with her bona fide English accent.
By Jillian Daley
503-636-1281, ext. 109
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Follow me on Twitter
Visit us on Facebook

Contract Publishing

Go to top