Fifth graders learn unexpected lessons at grocery store

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Students at Rosemont Forest Elementary School are getting in the holiday spirit early.

For them, that means getting in the giving spirit. They’re making sure hungry families in Hampton Roads won’t be hungry for the holidays.

“I think everyone needs to have food and a nice house,” said fifth grader Faith Pearson. “I think everyone should be able to have those things.”

But Pearson knows not everyone does have those things, and that’s why she and her classmates were at the Farm Fresh on Independence Boulevard Thursday morning. Rosemont Forest raised $500, and sent its fifth graders to do some budget shopping for the food pantry. By the time they checked out, they didn’t sound much like fifth graders.

“There’s not always going to be money everywhere,” said student Jorden Young. “You always have to budget it.”

“It was tough,” Pearson said. “We had a budget, and we had to make sure we didn’t go over the budget.”

Pearson, Young and their classmates got a math lesson at the store, but they might remember Thursday for other reasons.

“I think they’re taking a whole lot away from it,” said Barbara Swilley, a fifth grade teacher at Rosemont Forest. “I know the kids are walking away from this feeling like they’re doing something good for their community.”

“It makes me feel really good inside, that we were raising money for people that need help,” Pearson said.

The fifth graders sorted everything they bought, and donated it all to the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia.

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