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A Great Use for Old Ties


Each year, our students were involved in the collection of nonperishable food items for a local food bank. Prior to the event, I had teachers and members of the school's PTA and School Improvement Council bring in old ties that might be hiding in the backs of their closets. The members of those groups responded by sending in bags of really different ties.

So how did those ties "tie" into our food-bank collection? We used the ties as incentives. On the day of the first food collection (the food collection was a semi-annual event in our school), the custodian and I visited classrooms. The custodian helped to box up the food items as he manned the two-wheeled cart on which the boxes were loaded. He also counted the items contributed by students. That was important, because any student who brought in 10 food items was allowed to cut off a piece of the (recycled) tie I was wearing.

Most of the students cut off small pieces of the ties, which I autographed and dated for them. One brave kindergartner cut off a tie just below the knot!

The tie activity was a sideshow to the real event: most of our food collections resulted in enough food to fill a regular-sized panel truck!

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