St. John’s Episcopal school 3rd & 4th grade

Kids to Know: St. John’s Episcopal Parish Day School Grades 3 & 4

In collaboration with Rise Against Hunger and St. John’s Episcopal Parish Day School, the Taylor Koulouris Foundation made it possible for students to pack 12,500 meals that will feed 347 children in Haiti each for an entire school year.

As third and fourth graders at the school, our Kids to Know share their experience.


Tell us about the service project you did at school to help kids in Haiti.

Maddie (3rd): We packed lunches using soy, dried veggies and rice. We had little bags and a funnel, and somebody held the bag and the funnel, and we each took turns putting each item into the funnel.

Jack L. (4th): The third and fourth graders at St. John’s worked with Rise Against Hunger to pack individual meal packets for children in Haiti. Some people put the packets together, some people weighed the packets and some people worked at sealing the packets and turning them into the completed bin.


What role did you have in packing food?

Sosie (4th): I was one of the people at a station with big buckets of rice, veggies and soy. You had to put one vitamin packet in every bag, and we followed an order of putting the items in a bag one by one. We had to measure the specific amount of food to make sure that there wasn’t too little or too much.

Jack F (4th):  I did weighing and sealing bags. The bags needed to be weighed to make sure each kid got a good amount of food. We had to make sure the bags were sealed tight so the food didn’t spill.


What did it mean when the gong sounded, and how did that make you feel as you worked?

Xavier (4th): When the gong rang, it made me feel excited and accomplished because this meant that we filled enough bags to feed children who needed food in Haiti.

Ty (4th): Every time someone rang the gong, that meant we got several more thousand meals packed. It made me feel so proud every time someone rang the gong even if it wasn’t me.


Why should you prepare food packets for children in Haiti?

Maddie (3rd): I believe, ten or so years ago there was an earthquake that damaged a lot of Haiti’s community. It’s been hard for them to get food and they had to rebuild their whole country, basically, so that’s why we were packing that food.

Rocco (3rd): The reason to prepare the food packets for children in Haiti is because they don’t have access to as much food as we have in the United States. I know they are struggling to find food and resources to live, and I am happy to be able to help them.

James (4th): We should prepare food packets because we have been given so much and we never have to worry about our next meal. It took us such a small amount of time to help so many kids in need.


What did it mean to you to pack meals that will feed 347 children for an entire year?

Grace (4th): It means that we just made a difference in so many children’s lives. We may have even saved lives from starvation.

Ty (4th): It means that the kids in Haiti are depending on kids like us to help make sure they don’t go hungry.

Noah (3rd): It means that the kids won’t be hungry for a long time and they will be happy since they have food. For me, it means a lot to have played a part in this.


What did you learn from this experience?

Chase (4th): I learned that some people in different countries are not as fortunate as we are.

Sosie (4th): I learned that we shouldn’t take having food every day for granted because some people in the world don’t have that, and it feels good to help others that don’t have what we have.

Xavier (3rd): I learned to work with my classmates in unison to do something that represents our SJE family, community and school values.

Jack L. (4th): This experience showed me that something easy and fun could change a lot of people’s lives.

James (4th): I learned that when we work together, we can help many people.


How did this project make you think about all the good you can do as a kid in Tampa Bay? Do you feel like you can do something on your own?

Rocco (3rd): It taught me that just a small act of kindness can go a long way, but I don’t think that I could do this on my own. Over 60 children each played a small part that went a long way to something bigger than us.

Noah (3rd): I know that I can help even by doing a small thing. Now I feel like I can volunteer to help others in need here.


Knowing that your kindness will change lives, what is something you want other kids to know about being kind?

Chase (4th): Being kind is an easy thing to do, and it helps other people.

Jack F (4th): That kindness spreads and that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

Grace (4th): I want other kids to know that when you’re kind, you can help so many more people other than yourself.

Originally published in the July 2024 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.